1 Aug 2019

Australian cricketers not intimidated by Edgbaston

7:22 am on 1 August 2019

Australia start the defence of the Ashes against England tonight with the first first Test at Edgbaston.

Australian cricket captain Tim Paine.


Australia won the 2017-18 at home 4-0.

England have not lost a home Ashes series since 2001 and have not lost at Edgbaston to any side in 11 years.

However Australian captain Tim Paine has fired back at suggestions Edgbaston is the most intimidating cricket venue in the world.

Much has been made of the hostile reception awaiting Australia in Birmingham, especially for the returning Cape Town trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

Paine has grown tired of talking about the topic that has dominated discussions leading up the series opener.

"(More intimidating) than this? I could name you 15," Paine quipped in his pre-match media conference, when asked if he could think of a ground more daunting.

"I know a lot of the time when teams come to Australia and they know they have to go to the Gabba or the WACA, it plays on their mind.

"It doesn't affect us. It doesn't matter if we play at Edgbaston, the Gabba or on the moon. We think our best cricket is good enough.

"The Edgbaston pitch or the Edgbaston crowd, or grandstand, or whatever it is; certainly won't play a part in deciding this Test match."

Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham.


Questions about Australia's on-field behaviour also elicited an unwanted sense of deja vu for the keeper, who pointed out he has "spoken a lot about this in the last 12 months".

Paine noted that a quote, often attributed to Winston Churchill but which may not have been uttered by him, is being used as one of the 17-man squad's mantras.

"There's been a quote going around our change rooms this week from Winston Churchill and that is 'behaviour doesn't lie', so we can talk all we like about how we are going to behave," the captain said.

The series, the latest start to an Ashes in the UK, will move on to Lord's, Headingley and Old Trafford before the urn is lifted at The Oval after a fifth Test that begins on 12 September.