Perth: England captain Nasser Hussain has warned his injury-stricken players to hurry up and get fit after his side crashed to a 58-run loss to an Australian invitational side in their Ashes tour opener on Tuesday.
Hussain said the time for excuses had finished and his players need to get themselves ready if England wanted to mount a serious challenge to Australia.
“From now on there is no hiding place,” he said. “People have to get out there and play, that is why they are on this tour. There’s no time to be resting.”
Hussain said his players needed to take responsibility for keeping themselves in shape before the first Test starting in Brisbane on November 7.
“All the batters and the bowlers, sooner or later they are going to have to get out there. They must either be fit to play for England or not fit to play for England. There is no hiding place in an Ashes tour.”
England’s injury woes continued on Tuesday when new fast bowler Stephen Harmison was diagnosed with mild concussion after being struck in the field.
The injury was not serious and he was allowed to continue playing despite suffering the humiliation of delivering 16 wides, including seven in a row.
Harmison’s nerves got the better of him as the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) Chairman’s XI put England’s bowlers to the sword, racking up 301 for seven from 50 overs then dismissing the tourists for 243.
Perth player Kade Harvey made the most of England’s wayward bowling to top score with 114 off 88 balls, featuring 10 boundaries and four sixes, in an impressive display of big hitting on a scorching hot day.