Ashes 2009: Strauss 'Excited' By Challenge Ahead

Ashes 2009: Strauss 'Excited' By Challenge Ahead
Ashes 2009: Strauss 'Excited' By Challenge Ahead
©Action Images / Scott Heavey Livepic

England captain Andrew Strauss has described the fifth and final Ashes Test, which gets underway at The Oval tomorrow, as a 'huge moment' and told a news conference in London that he, and the rest of his squad, can't wait to get the match underway.

"The week off came at a good time for us," he said, going on to add that the entire squad is 'pretty excited' about the occasion.

The series is currently tied at 1-1 with everything to play for and Strauss is looking forward to the game, which offers England the chance to put a crushing innings and 80-run defeat at Headingley behind them.

"I'm really excited and can't wait to get out there," he added before saying that the team would be doing their best to enjoy the five days ahead of them.

He laughed off speculation that the extra pressure heaped on all-rounder Andrew Flintoff ahead of his final Test match would adversely affect the team, saying that he was excited to have him back.

Pressed on Jonathan Trott's impending debut, Strauss compared the Warwickshire's man baptism to his own debut against New Zealand in 2004.

"It's a bit of tough one for him," he said. "He's a guy who's got a lot of confidence, he's in great form and that carries you a great distance when you're stepping into the unknown."

Strauss said he was surprised that an illegal bookmaker had contacted an Australian player during the series but paid tribute to the work that the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit had been doing.

The ICC later confirmed that they have received receipt of the illegal approach from an illegael bookmaker to an Australian  player.

"There is no evidence of any illegal activity as a result of this approach, which took place following the second Test at Lord’s in July, and the ICC would like to place on record its praise for the player approached and the Australia team management for reporting the issue," a statement read.

"Approaches to players do happen and it would be naïve to assume otherwise; if they did not then there would be no need for the continuing existence of the ACSU. 

"However, the ICC is confident that all approaches are being reported, it is proud of systems and education processes in place which have created a widespread culture of integrity among the world’s top players and it is pleased those players have confidence in the ACSU to report such matters."

© Cricket World 2009