Originally posted by mtthw The fact that you seem to suggest England's main aim in selecting opponents for the next year should be to prepare for the Ashes?
England plays against all other Test nations within a 4-5 year framework. Cricket is a business and England v Australia is peak business, and this is in terms of recruiting youth to the sport too, not just financially. In the 10 months leading up to such a crucial bit of international professional sport, I think a summer spent pitting wits against India and Sri Lanka would have trumped two back to back series against minnows Bangladesh and 7th-out-of-9-Test Nations Pakistan, in cricketing terms and in commercial terms and in terms of the long term health of this under-pressure sport in the U.K.
But I do take your point about what you think I "seem to suggest".
The biggest problem with the schedule is the back to back series against Bangladesh. After the dismal episodes against the West Indies recently I hoped we'd never see that again - we'll all be bored senseless by the second Test at Old Trafford, even if the series out there is competitive.
Originally posted by Marcusr The biggest problem with the schedule is the back to back series against Bangladesh.
No win situation. If we trounce Bangladesh, people will scoff. If we struggle in any way at all, people will really scoff. If Bangladesh do well, there'll be scoffing aplenty and a poisonous tabloid whirlwind. Meanwhile playing cricket against them will not create the momentum needed for the Ashes, regardless of how well we play.