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Ashes intrigue builds, groundsman gagged

Cardiff (Wales), July 6 (ANI): Ashes intrigue is building in Cardiff with groundsman Keith Exton declared off limits to the media three days before the Welsh capital hosts its first ever Test.

Not even the players know what conditions to expect.

“There’s a little bit of anticipation and that air of the unexpected, not knowing what the wicket is going to be like because there haven’t been Tests played here in the past,” The Age quoted opener Simon Katich, as saying.

Exton said: “It will be a good pitch for both sides. It depends on the weather, if it’s very dry it could turn a little bit more, if it’s very wet and we have to put the covers on perhaps it won’t turn so much, it’s hard to say.”

The conditions will determine whether England plays two spinners in the first Test and whether Australia plays its only specialist, Nathan Hauritz, or opts for a fourth seamer.

The Australians expect that Cardiff will be more condusive to reverse swing than spin, and have practised scrambling the seam. (ANI)

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