Former Glamorgan and Warwickshire batsman David Hemp feels that England will prevail over their Australian counter-parts away from home this winter because of the confidence they have gained since the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.
Although Hemp retired from county cricket in 2008 he has remained within the game as captain of Bermuda and cricket master at Sollihull school.
Talking about England's chances in the Ashes, he told Cricket World: “I think they are playing really good cricket at the moment, not just in the Test matches but in the Twenty20. In coming back from that World Cup in the Caribbean they seemed to have done well and picked up.
"They won the series against Pakistan which has been slightly unfortunate with the things that are going on. However to come back from the two losses and win comprehensively was obviously testament to them and the work that has been put in.”
Having toured Australia in his younger days, Hemp feels that the current England squad are prepared to face the pressures that they will inevitably face during an ashes tour.
He said, “The fact that they are competing in both forms of the game in terms of one-day and Test match cricket is great. In terms of Australia, we know what the Australians are like; great players, very passionate and very competitive but England have been there and they know what to expect. I am sure they will be able to take the confidence they have got this summer with them.”
Almost as soon as the one-day series between England and Australia comes to an end, the ICC Cricket World Cup spectacle begins in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The winner of the series will take valuable momentum into the major tournament and Hemp feels that the players will have no choice but to immerse themselves in the passionate Asian atmosphere.
“The passion will be there and the people love the game. The crowds will be fanatical about it. There will always be talk about it, you wont be able to get away from it, which for me would be great as a player. I know some players like to get away from it. For me I think they should embrace it, it is great to play in a World Cup, having been there and I think where it is on the sub-continent, the pitches will be good, as they always are - we have seen that in the IPL.”
As Hemp is coming to the end of his playing days, his main aim is to enable Bermuda to regain their ODI status, after they lost it a year ago. The Bermudan skipper is hoping that his side can make the ICC World Cricket League Division Two play-offs in 2012 and consequentially enter the World Cup in 2015.
“It is a long time but certainly we will be involved in April so hopefully that goes well and if we can do well then, then we go in to the playoffs for the World Cup for 2015. I do not think I will be playing in 2015 but if I can play in 2012 and help Bermuda get back and retain the ODI status then that is the important thing for me and for the island. Otherwise you never know what is going to happen with cricket on the island but I hope it goes from strength to strength.”
© Cricket World 2010