Daily Mail



THE ASHES do not start until Thursday — but we have already had the first Australia casualty. Jeremy Arnold, the squad’s media manager, has been banished from the tour. Arnold was due to go home following the World Cup before returning for the Ashes, but he will remain Down Under, much to his disappoint­ment. The strange barefoot stroll around Edgbaston before the semi-final thrashing by England, which resulted in largely mocking coverage, may have something to do with the decision, although coach Justin Langer is known to be a big supporter. Arnold, regarded by some as a fan with a lanyard, will instead train a new staff member back in Australia. He won few friends among the English or Australian packs, whose interview requests were met with the kind of resolute blocking that would have impressed Geoffrey Boycott. In Arnold’s place, the vastly experience­d Brian Murgatroyd, a Welshman who was England’s media liaison in the late 1990s, will take over for the first two Tests. Then poacher-turned-gamekeeper Malcolm Conn — News Corp’s former chief cricket writer who could not hide his emotions when Australia lost the 2005 Ashes — comes in for the final three clashes.

 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? More than one hat: head coach Langer has lost an ally
GETTY IMAGES More than one hat: head coach Langer has lost an ally

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