Adelaide is Pink Ball Central. The second Ashes Test will be the third day/night Test staged here, while the rest of the world has hosted four. When the England party flew in on Tuesday evening, several faces were also pink. As if England had not already appeared vulnerable – having lost four pace bowlers in Ben Stokes, Mark Wood, Toby Roland-Jones and Steve Finn, and the opening Test by ten wickets – the ECB gave the impression that they did not have their players under control. The Jonny Bairstow headbutting incident in Perth was another ten-wicket victory for Australia, because the only credible version of events was Cameron Bancroft’s. If Bairstow could not come up with a cogent version for public consumption, it would have been wiser if a considered statement had been released on his behalf. As for Stokes, it was surely right of the ECB to allow him to pursue his profession by granting him a no objection certificate and letting him play in New Zealand. What was not right was that he should set off from Heathrow without the ECB making this clear. There is all the difference between his playing domestic cricket and representing England -… Read full this story
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