Hohns says too much focus on Ashes can cause Australia slip on Lankan banana
Trevor Hohns, who was the man behind Australia's last Ashes triumph in England, has said he can already sense the hunger to regain the trophy next year among officials around the country, but he has warned the team of the challenge presented by Sri Lanka.
Although Mahela Jayawardene's side does not have the box office appeal of South Africa, the upcoming series is shaping as a crucial part of the build-up to the Ashes.
Hohns, Australia's chairman of selectors during the country's glory era in the late 1990s and early 2000s, knows the value of winning no matter how timid the opposition might be.
Australia's Ashes failure in 2009 was preceded by a series defeat against the Proteas at home the summer before.
"It's all about the build-up and momentum. Winning momentum is terrific, it gives confidence to the players and all concerned, particularly the younger ones," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hohns, as saying.
"They're leading up to the Ashes but they can't focus on that yet. We've got an important series against Sri Lanka and then a very important one against India in India and then the Ashes," he added.
"Everyone is talking about and projecting forward to the Ashes. I know most involved with cricket around the country desperately want to win those Ashes back," he said.
Hohns added: "Hopefully, the lead-up with these two series will produce some good games and opportunities for blokes and get some winning momentum going. This series, in particular, is an important series for a few of them."