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It must be 11 versus 11, proper games of cricket: Vaughan on warm-up matches

London, Oct / (IANS) Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes that if England play warm-up matches in the run-up to the Ashes in Australia, they should be proper games with eleven members on both sides. He also said that if Covid-19 situation does not allow England to play state sides, he would be willing to arrange for two competitive intra-squad matches and give them first-class status.

"Another important aspect is the two warm-up games. They can't play state sides because of Covid so I would personally arrange two very competitive intra-squad matches and give them first-class status. It must be 11 versus 11, proper games of cricket with players thinking the numbers count on their first-class records. There have to be consequences for playing a poor shot or bowling a bad spell," wrote Vaughan in his column for The Telegraph on Saturday.

Vaughan maintains that the top six batsmen must be drafted in one eleven while the first-choice bowling attack be included in the opposite side. "I would make it dead obvious as well. I would pick my top six for the first Test match in one team, and my first-choice bowling attack in the opposing side. Make it blatantly obvious to the players so those that are not first choice have something to play for and think, 'hold on a minute, I've got to do something here to get in the top six or in the bowling unit'."

The 46-year-old pointed out that the warm-up matches have to be of competitive and edgy nature. "Make those warm-ups competitive and edgy. Even let them chuck in a few quid between them as prize money. Anything that will make it competitive so they realise that bad shots matter. I'm sorry but 13-a-side, Tom Noddy games are rubbish. I've played in them and they are a waste of time. They have no edge. In Australia you have to provide an edge."

"Those games cannot be 13 versus 13. You have to play tough cricket going into an Ashes series. The only time England have won in recent years is by playing tough games against state sides," signed off Vaughan.