Australia skipper Steve Smith said that his side needs to perform well to beat England if they want to reach the semi-finals after suffering two matches with no result in their last group games.
Cricket Australia (CA) has endangered not to pay contracted players past June 30 ending of their current financial deal if they do not accept a new offer.
It has, in turn, leading David Warner, Smith’s vice-captain to quarrel that if the players don’t have an agreement then they will not able to take part in the showpiece home Ashes Test series against England in November.
When asked about the impact of the pay dispute on his preparations, Smith said to the reporters at Edgbaston on Friday, “We’re worried about that at all. We know the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association) is handling that back home.”
Smith added, “For us, it’s about concentrating on this tournament – and tomorrow (Saturday) is a big game for everyone in this group.”
Talking about suffering a group stage defeat by England at Edgbaston in the 2013 Champions Trophy, Smith said: “The Champions Trophy only come around every four years, and it’s the second biggest tournament after the World Cup, so we’ve got to be focused on that.”
Smith feels his side to raise their game on Saturday, “Obviously, it’s a must-win match for us … essentially a quarter-final. That usually does bring out the best of the Australia cricket team in big tournaments. So let’s hope that is the case tomorrow.”
England captain Eoin Morgan said about his experience playing against Australia, “I’ve been in a position where I haven’t played in Ashes cricket. If you never get to play in an Ashes game, this is the closest you will ever get to beating an Australia team.”
Talking about the Saturday games which will be very important for England post on the line to the 2019 World Cup in England, Morgan said “If we’re looking to win this tournament and go beyond and win the World Cup, we need to be beating the best sides in the world – and Australia at the moment are one of them.”