Brett Lee expects Ashes series to be tight

May 31st, 2009 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 31 (IANS) Unlike his captain Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Michael Clarke, who refused to predict the outcome of the Ashes series, Australian fast bowler Brett Lee feels it would be pretty close.
“It’s going to be tight again and it’s going to be played in the same spirit as 2005,” said Lee who has returned to the squad after surgery to his injured left ankle in January.

“I just want England at full strength. I want Freddie Flintoff out there, I want Kevin Pietersen playing. I want to test myself against the best. I want packed crowds. I want it to be on again like it was four years ago. Playing it in England feels like the real Ashes to me… There’s all the hype, all the attention, all the theatre,” Lee was quoted as saying in the Times.

Meanwhile, Stuart Clark’s hopes of getting some practice for the Ashes with two championship appearances for Gloucestershire next month have been all but dashed by visa problems.

“The chances of Stuart coming are slim,” a Gloucestershire club official said.

Like Clark, who underwent elbow surgery earlier this year, Ryan Sidebottom is facing a battle to get enough overs under his belt in time for the first Test. The England left-armer has made a good recovery from an Achilles tendon operation, but his inclusion in England’s World Twenty20 squad means his bowling opportunities are limited.

If England reach the semi-finals, Sidebottom may play only one first-class match before the Ashes, barely enough for someone who thrives on regular work.

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