Boland skipped county opportunity to stay fresh for WTC final, Ashes

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Boland skipped county opportunity to stay fresh for WTC final, Ashes

MELBOURNE: Australian fast bowler Scott Boland said he turned down the opportunity to play county cricket in England so that he would be fresh heading into the World Test Championship (WTC) final and the Ashes.

Only the second Indigenous Australian male to play a Test, Boland made his debut in December 2021 at the last Ashes, where he announced himself onto the scene with an outrageous spell in the second innings with figures of 6-7 in four overs.

But at 34, Boland is no youngster and he said at this stage of his career he wanted to prioritise playing only for his country and Victoria.

“I did have the opportunity to play county cricket this year, but I prioritised being a bit fresher going into six tests in two months,” Boland told cricket.com.au.

“I know my body, that if I’m at a stage where I’m getting tired, I want to keep my career going for as long as I can. I don’t want to burn out.” Boland finished among the top-wicket takers against England in that series with 18 scalps in three tests — only behind Pat Cummins (21) and Mitchell Starc (19) — as Australia retained the Ashes.

Rotating the quicks was key to Australia’s commanding 4-0 series victory and Boland said they would have to employ a similar strategy in England.

“It will be tough for fast bowlers to play all six games,” Boland said.

“I’m definitely preparing to play. It could be at the start, it could be half way through, I’m not sure. But I’m planning to play and excited to play whenever they choose me.”

Australia face India at The Oval in the WTC final from June 7-11 before the first Ashes test From June 16 at Edgbaston.