In Brief

Today’s back pages: Australia captain Paine taunts England fans - let the Ashes battle commence

A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 1 August

The Ashes cricket series dominates the newspaper back pages with the first Test match between England and Australia starting this morning. 

Australia are the holders of the legendary urn and they take on an England team that are enjoying an 11-match winning run across all formats at Edgbaston, the host ground for the first Test. 

Despite the Birmingham venue’s feared reputation Aussie captain Tim Paine has stoked the fires by claiming that Edgbaston is not in the top 15 most intimidating grounds in world cricket. 

He said: “England haven’t lost here in how long? I don’t even know, I haven’t looked at it and it doesn’t concern us. 

“We think our best cricket is good enough and the Edgbaston pitch and Edgbaston crowd and grandstand, or whatever it is, won’t play a part in deciding this Test match.”

“Tim taunts England fans” The Times reports on its back page while i Sport says the Aussie skipper “loses his cool” on the eve of the Ashes.

With all the talking now done The Daily Telegraph says “let battle commence”.

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