England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO Tom Harrison has approached Cricket Australia (CA) for the inclusion of England players in the Sheffield Shield. In the past, Australian cricketers who have featured in the ongoing Ashes such as Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head and Michael Neser have made their way into the County Championship 2021.
“The reality is that we need to spend more time with the players in Australian conditions. I have had several conversations with Cricket Australia and have written to Cricket Australia to formally ask if they would consider allowing us players to join Sheffield Shield cricket, for example, as a significant change. . What can we bear? Harrison to BBC Test Match Special.
But in the Sheffield Shield, where there are six teams compared to 18 in the County Championship, England players have had very few opportunities to play red-ball cricket in Australia. In March 2017, leg-spinner Mason Crane was the first overseas player in the playing XI for New South Wales since Pakistan all-rounder great Imran Khan in 1984–85.
“We have had to cancel several individual player preparation plans – which will include time in Australia – due to the (Covid-19) pandemic, effectively, Australia has been called off, and several other tours postponed Is. We have had to postpone what was planned for this tour to put us in a better position,” Harrison said.
Former England fast bowler-turned-broadcaster Isa Guha felt that the heavy participation of England players in the Big Bash League could convince CA to take some of them to the Sheffield Shield. “Some of England’s best cricketers are doing well in the BBL, and I think they can have a huge impact on Sheffield Shield cricket as well. Fans and broadcasters want a contest. Certainly, it is in Cricket Australia’s interest to say, ‘Yes, some of your players who are going to be part of the Ashes can come here and play in our Sheffield Shield for a few matches.’