Aussies prepare for ‘sledging of their lives’
THE Australian squad has arrived in England for its World Cup defence, escorted through a special exit at London's Heathrow Airport.
They were whisked out a private back door at the busy airport in a security measure made mandatory by the ICC for all countries competing in the upcoming World Cup.
The secret exit, usually reserved for VIPs visiting London, helped ensure Steve Smith, David Warner and their fellow squad members were spared prying eyes at the public luggage carousels.
The Australians caught a private bus through immigration and were given tea to drink as their passports were stamped.
But they won't avoid the blowtorch for long.
The Sun's chief sports writer Dave Kidd wrote on Wednesday that the World Cup would be followed by "a home Ashes against a band of cheating Aussies preparing for the sledging of their lives".
That line was worked into a column about England's ODI win against Pakistan.
Australia is one of the first teams to arrive in England for the World Cup.
Pakistan is already on the ground for its five-match ODI series against England, and the West Indies are nearby, playing ODIs in Ireland.
Australian coach Justin Langer had repeatedly told his players that the World Cup was cricket's version of the Olympic Games, and his team was afforded golden treatment when it arrived from Turkey.
News Corp was there when the Aussies arrived at their team hotel at 10pm on Wednesday, local time.
There is high-level security in place as Cricket Australia embarks on a five-month tour of the UK for the upcoming World Cup and Ashes series.
Langer's team flew into London from Istanbul in Turkey after spending four sobering nights in Gallipoli.
The Gallipoli experience mirrored the one former captain Steve Waugh took his players on before their successful Ashes tour in 2001.
Langer described missing that camp as "one of the regrets of my career".
Most of Langer's 15-man World Cup squad posted powerful images on Instagram from the camp that visited the battlefields at the World War I site.
That included a post by Warner about the value of teamwork, as he and Smith continue to feel their way back into the Australian dressing room.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell said the pair was "a little bit more reserved" at last week's training camp in Brisbane, which marked their return to national duty.
But while the locals in Brisbane delivered a warm welcome when Smith and Warner batted in three practice games in Brisbane, the English tabloids have already started poking Australia.