Darren Gough has hit out at England's planning for the Ashes series and believes the scheduling of Tests and venues has given Australia a significant boost. Gough was reported in the Courier-Mail blaming the summer's program, which began with England playing two Tests against Bangladesh, and questioning whether the authorities really wanted to win the urn.

"Everything in this English cricket series should centre on the main Test series," Gough wrote in his weekly column. "It doesn't. England's cricketers could hardly get any decent cricket before the Ashes. Do you seriously think the Australians would plan and prepare for a home series like that?"

Gough, who played in the two one-day series, said England had been hindered by warming up against Bangladesh and having no other first-class practice, while Australia were given seven weeks to settle before the first Test. He went on to complain about playing the first Test at Lord's, where Australia have not lost since 1934, and not having a match at Headingley, a venue where England usually play well. "We have to ask ourselves how serious we are about beating Australia."