Trott warns against Australia overkill
Jonathan Trott feels the special tradition of Ashes matches will be diluted if contests between England and Australia continue to spill outside the regular tours.
Australia arrive in the UK tomorrow for a five-match ODI series with England, starting on June 29. Trott warned against scheduling series outside Ashes years to protect the England-Australia rivalry.
"It definitely needs looking after," Trott told the Evening Standard. "It mustn't be overdone. You want it to be special. England used to play Australia at home every four years, it was in the books and people had years to look forward to it. Now, they were here two years ago, they're here now and they're here again next summer."
Australia's last full Ashes tour was in 2009 but they played a five-match ODI series in 2010, which England won 3-2. The upcoming ODI series precedes the next Ashes tour by 12 months, meaning Australia will tour England four times in five seasons - something Trott feels could send a dangerous message to supporters.
"You don't want people to think: 'I'm not going this year because I know they're here next year'. Or next year, people not coming to the games because they saw England-Australia in 2012," Trott said. "People might wonder what the point is, or they might think it's too monotonous.
"The public can sniff these things out and they know when it's a little bit too much. We've seen what happened with the domestic Twenty20 competition, when they started throwing in tons of games and there was overkill. It was about right when there were only ten matches in the first round."
The scheduling of this ODI series is the first part of a bilateral arrangement between the ECB and Cricket Australia. England will tour Australia for an ODI series in January 2015 to warm-up for that year's World Cup, which is being staged in Australia and New Zealand in February and March - a move hoped to improve England's poor record at recent World Cups.
While Trott maintains concerns about too many Ashes meetings, he understands why the ECB have taken steps to boost England's World Cup hopes.
"With England, everything has been about the Ashes, whereas Australia and the rest of the world have a balance," Trott said. "It's like in football, where European teams would put the World Cup ahead of the European Championships. In the past, maybe England were like that with the Ashes and our World Cup.
"For England, it was always the Ashes, which we hadn't won for 20 years before 2005. The attention to the World Cup -- because we've now won the Ashes home and away -- will be greater, and the tournament will be put on a higher pedestal. We set ourselves a target of being the No. 1-ranked Test team, and we achieved that, so now we set ourselves up to be top of the one-day rankings, too."
England begin their ODI series against Australia on June 29 at Lord's, the tour concludes on July 10.