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Harris paints happy picture

Ryan Harris insists spirits are high in the Australia camp ahead of the Investec Ashes.

England’s old rivals have come in for some heavy criticism in recent months, both for their performances on the field and issues off it such as the ‘homework-gate’ affair that saw four players suspended for a Test match in India earlier this year.

Australia lost that series 4-0 and also went winless in the Champions Trophy after losing their opening group match to England by 48 runs.

Yet Harris remains upbeat and believes his country’s A tour of the British Isles represents ideal preparation for the players involved.

Together with Jackson Bird, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Matthew Wade, Harris is one of five members of Australia’s Ashes squad featuring in this week’s three-day match against Gloucestershire, while Ed Cowan and Chris Rogers have spent the early summer playing county cricket.

Referring to the Australia A squad in an exclusive video interview with ecb.co.uk, Harris said: “We’ve been here nearly a month now and all the guys have got the cricket they need.

“The boys are ready to get into the England games. We came here, acclimatised to these conditions early and that’s all we can do. It’s very exciting. The boys are in good spirits and really enjoying their cricket.”

As for the negative press Australia have received, Harris added: “We laugh at it to be honest. We’re not worried about that sort of stuff.

“We’re going to cop that. We haven’t played good cricket in the last six months and we know that. We’re here to play good cricket.

“We don’t need motivation. We’ve got enough motivation in an Ashes series to come over here and win back the urn.

“That’s our goal and we don’t need anyone bagging us or saying things about us on Twitter or in the media.”

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