Johannesburg, May 14 ANI | 1 year ago

Australian coach Darren Lehmann has dismissed the calibre of the second-division county opposition dished up by England for warm-up games ahead of this year's summer Ashes.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the schedule for the 2015 Ashes against their old enemy with tour matches for Australia against Kent and Essex before the first Test, and then Derby and Northamptonshire during the five-Test series.

According to Sport24, Lehmann dismissed the calibre of the opposition as England look to reclaim the Ashes after a 5-0 whitewash in Australia during the 2013/14 series, saying that Kent and Essex are quality sides and like last year, the counties will probably drag a few players from other counties in to play.

Stating that they would enjoy playing against the counties, Lehmann said that the matches are a great lead-up for them as even they would be relaxed, they will help his team achieve some goals like they did last time.

Ahead of the last Ashes series in Australia, England complained about the quality of a NSW XI team they were to face, with the ECB urging a better calibre of opposition, which prompted Cricket Australia (CA) to step in and strengthen the side with quality players from around the country.

Australia have a two-Test series against the West Indies before heading to England and Lehmann said this would be ideal preparation as it would help them get acclimatised to the Dukes balls and pitches in England.

(Posted on 14-05-2014)

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