Former England captain and Ashes-winning hero Sir Ian Botham and Beefeater sent a message to the Aussies ahead of the hotly anticipated Ashes series by beaming a giant projection of cricket legend Beefy on to Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Australians were denied a victory in their final warm-up game ahead of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge by a dogged final-day performance by Worcestershire at New Road.
Set an unlikely 457 for victory, Worcestershire closed on a relatively comfortable 274 for five as three of their top-order batsmen registered timely half-centuries.
With Shane Watson having already secured the opening berth with his first innings 90, Nathan Lyon having seen off the threat from Fawad Ahmed, and Michael Clarke making a successful return from injury, it just remains to be seen who will form the identity of Australia's middle-order at Trent Bridge.
Australia captain Michael Clarke will make his return from injury when Australia take on Somerset in the first of two warm-up matches ahead of the Ashes.
He missed his country's Champions Trophy campaign with a back injury but has been passed fit to lead the side at Taunton from 26th June.
With a matter of weeks remaining until they meet England in the first Ashes Test, Cricket Australia have sacked head coach Mickey Arthur and replaced him with Darren Lehmann.
South African Arthur, who was appointed in November 2011, has paid the penalty for a series of disappointing results and several off-field issues.
Australia have added Steve Smith to their squad for the first two Ashes Tests as batting cover, as they continue to struggle with their preparations to take on England.
With David Warner suspended for the warm-up matches against Somerset and Worcestershire and Michael Clarke likely to miss both with his back injury, the selectors have chosen to call for Smith.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has announced he will retire from all cricket following the Champions League Twenty20 in October.
He retired from international cricket late last year but will continue to play for Surrey in England's domestic season until July, take part in the Caribbean Premier League and then travel to India with the Mumbai Indians for the Champions League.
Sri Lanka produced an efficient performance to beat Australia by 20 runs and book themselves an ICC Champions Trophy 2013 semi-final against India.
Set 254 to win, Australia needed to get the runs within 29.1 overs to stay in the tournament and they gave game chase but lost too many wickets along the way and were eventually dismissed for 233.
Australia A overcame a spirited and resilient Ireland side as well as the rain to record a comfortable 93-run victory on the final day of their first-class match in Belfast, making it two from two on their tour of the British Isles.
Nathan Lyon, who is currently the only spinner in Australia's 16-man Ashes squad, took three wickets during an impressive spell to seal victory after the start of play was delayed due to a wet outfield at Stormont.
With the Ashes series just weeks away and places still very much up for grabs, opportunity is very much the buzz word around Stormont as Australia 'A' continue their tour of the British Isles with a four-day game against an Irish side shorn of their county cricket stars.
However, it's not just the Australians who have plenty riding on this weekend's clash but also the hosts who will hand several fringe players the chance to impress coach Phil Simmons.
Embattled Australian batsman David Warner has publicly apologised for the behaviour which led Cricket Australia to fine him and ban him earlier today (13th June).
Warner was handed a heavy fine and suspended until the Ashes begin for his unprovoked attack on England's Joe Root in Birmingham on Sunday 9th June.
David Warner has been fined and suspended from international cricket until The Ashes after pleading guilty to breaching Cricket Australia's Code of Behaviour.
He was charged with a breach of Rule 6: Unbecoming Behaviour when he launched an unprovoked physical attack on England's Joe Root on Sunday night in Birmingham. Root was uninjured during the attack and Warner was dropped for his side's match against New Zealand.
The ICC Champions Trophy 2013 Group A match between Australia and New Zealand at Edgbaston was abandoned due to rain with New Zealand on 51 for two chasing a target of 244.
Mitchell McClenaghan took four wickets for the second match in a row to restrict Australia to 243 for eight but the match was in the balance when New Zealand lost two early wickets.
After a loss in their opening fixture, Australia will have to pull together when they take on a confident New Zealand side in the second group game of the ICC Champions Trophy on Wednesday (12th June).
Australia proved to be no match for England as they suffered a 48-run defeat in the opener on Saturday (8th June).
Australian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade said his team are up for the challenge ahead of their second ICC Champions Trophy 2013 game against New Zealand.
They suffered a 48-run defeat to arch nemesis England in their first game of the campaign.
At the halfway point, the jury was once again out surrounding the innings played by Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, but by the time Australia had limped to 221 for nine it had very much given its verdict.
The home side's total of 269 for six proved more than enough for an Australia side seemingly still dazed from their thrashing at the hands of India in the warm-up match on Tuesday.