By Sarah Keoghan
June 16, 2019 — 7.30pm
Australian vice-captain Rachael Haynes is predicting a “pretty tightly contested” Ashes series, citing England’s home advantage as the biggest challenge for the tourists.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia’s capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country’s other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years prior to European discovery with the arrival of Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, who named it New Holland. In 1770, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia’s national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the time of an 1850s gold rush, most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
Being the oldest, flattest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi). A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. Its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking, and manufacturing.Australia is a highly developed country, with the world’s 14th-largest economy. It has a high-income economy, with the world’s tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, and has the world’s 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world’s eighth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 29% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism.
Australia ramp up campaign to defend women's Ashes
Campaign or The Campaign may refer to:
Advertising campaign, a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme
Civil society campaign, a project intended to mobilize public support in order to instigate social change
Military campaign, large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plans incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles
Political campaign, an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process within a specific group
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“We get over to England a little bit earlier this time around which will be really nice to acclimatise to the conditions and get used to it,” Haynes said. “We know that they’re a very good team at home, they really thrive on their home support, and obviously they play their conditions really well.”
Haynes has called upon all Aussie cricket fans in Europe to get along to the multi-format series in an effort to shift the local support imbalance.
“The (men’s) one-day World Cups is on at the moment as well, which leads into the Australian men’s Ashes series too,” she said. “Hopefully some of the Australians who have made their way over for that tournament will come along and support us as well.”
Seven matches will be played throughout the July Ashes series, with three one-day internationals, one Test in Taunton and three Twenty20 internationals.
The points-based system means that each limited-overs win is worth two points while the winner of the Test collects four points. The series begins on July 2 with the first ODI and ends on July 31 with the final T20.
Haynes said she was counting on a number of practice games to get the team “into the groove” before flying out.
“I think it’s just about coming together as a team,” Haynes said. “It’s about not being satisfied with where we are at as a squad and wanting to really progress and push what’s possible.”
Haynes captained the side in the last Ashes in Australia two years ago after skipper Meg Lanning announced she would miss the series due to a shoulder injury. Australia and England finished in an 8-8 draw, with the hosts retaining the Ashes.
They won’t be taking the task to defend them lightly.
“Playing at the elite level can be tough at times and there is a lot of expectations … there is lots of pressure,” Haynes said. “From our perspective, we definitely won’t be underestimating [England].”
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.