Melbourne:Australia's acting skipper Michael Clarke has blamed lack of access to the facilities at Oval for their drubbing in the fifth Test, resulting in Ashes defeat. The facilities were being used by Surrey Cricket Club for wining and dining corporate clients.
"It is a little bit disappointing that other priorities have taken place in the indoor facilities here at The Oval. I used the bowling machine in the indoor nets as part of my preparation throughout the whole Test series, I guess it's no coincidence why I didn't make any runs here," said Clarke.
Surrey Cricket Club had contracted the nets area to ticket and events agency Keith Prowse which used the space to host clients during matches.
Clarke also questioned ground preparation in England following Tuesday's abandonment of the second Twenty20 match in Manchester as 15 hours before the Lancashire's cricketers were playing a county match on the same surface.
"The ground has to be fit for the players to play. Maybe the covering system is something the counties can look at. For me, the wicket is first and foremost, the priority is to keep that dry; second are the bowlers' run-ups.
"Both ends of the run-ups the other night were just not up to scratch and that's the main reason I believe the umpires did not rule the ground fit," Clarke told Sydney Morning Herald.