July 19, 2005

Diminuitive urn continuing to capture imagination: You can keep the return of the Premiership, the Tour de France and Wimbledon, this is the sporting event of the summer. The Ashes have it all, five matches that will determine that world's best cricket team. If you don't know anything about cricket this is the time to find out. If you want to go, you can't. It's easier to buy dodo's eggs than to pick up Ashes tickets at face value (and I've got my tickets - I'm so excited I could wee!)

posted by Pete to other at 12:38 PM - 23 comments

So...whose ashes are in the urn? (I'd love to see this, even on tee vee, but not a chance in hell, ya know?)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:49 PM on July 19, 2005

The Ashes are only worthwhile when England can field a competitive team, which it seems they are finally pulling together. The last time it seemed competitive was the 1970s, it's been one-way traffic since, Australia has dominated them. Also, re: this comment: "England v Australia at cricket carries an electric charge, like England v Germany or Argentina in football. But itís a ferocity born of kinship, not enmity." Hmmm, no enmity, eh? It's a shame the piece failed to do no more than namecheck the most famous incident of all Ashes series -- the "Bodyline."

posted by the red terror at 12:51 PM on July 19, 2005

The Ashes were the burned stumps of the First Test series. (Uhh, could be mistaken, but they were the burnt stumps of a very, very old series between the two countries.)

posted by the red terror at 12:52 PM on July 19, 2005

And I stand corrected, the Poms won a few series in the early 80s, but the Ockkers have won nine series in a row, it does seem like a long bloody time.

posted by the red terror at 12:59 PM on July 19, 2005

five matches that will determine that world's best cricket team. There might be several hundred million people on the subcontinent who disagree with this. India are ranked ahead of England, and even Australia have only won one series there in the last 30 years.

posted by owlhouse at 03:30 PM on July 19, 2005

Two best teams in cricket? England didn't even make it out of their group in the last world cup (admittedly owing a bit to deciding to not play against Zimbabwe). They lost two matches there - one to Australia, the eventual winners - and the other to India, the losing finalist. I'm not saying that necessarily proves anything, but is it cut and dried and England is #2 to Australia's #1? Though if England wins does that not make them the defacto #1?

posted by gspm at 03:31 PM on July 19, 2005

Actually, at the moment, Australia and England are in the #1 and #2 places in the ICC test rankings.

posted by rodgerd at 09:25 PM on July 19, 2005

terror - eight in a row gspm - world cup doesn't have any bearing on this - different format (World Cup is one day matches, these are test matches, which can last up to five days). It's very exciting. And it's always worthwhile.

posted by JJ at 04:32 AM on July 20, 2005

A nice angle on the venue for the opening test can be found here: Bill Brown, 93 in 11 days' time, is the oldest Ashes combatant. He is the only survivor from the Lord's Test of 1934, the last time England defeated Australia on cricket's most famous stage.

posted by JJ at 04:40 AM on July 20, 2005

ah yes, different kinds of cricket (making no mention that the England team has been on the up since the world cup). what's the betting line on this thing? are the Poms favoured this time?

posted by gspm at 07:36 AM on July 20, 2005

The odds for the series are: 3/1 - England 2/5 - Australia 11/2 - Draw The odds for the first match (starting tomorrow) are: 10/3 - England 10/11 - Australia 7/4 - Draw But I think the Aussie's are slightly better favourites than that indicates. Some interesting specials available on Ladbrokes.com, including: Kevin Pietersen to be out for a pair - 50/1 Kevin Pietersen to score six sixes in the 1st innings - 66/1 Kevin Pietersen to be man of the match - 16/1 Kevin Pietersen to score a golden duck - 12/1 Kevin Pietersen to a century in the match - 9/2 Kevin Pietersen to be McGrath's 500th victim - 7/1 Not that the media are focusing in on one man's participation in the contest or anything.

posted by JJ at 08:22 AM on July 20, 2005

I thought the ashes of the stumps signified the death of English Cricket. Smirk. Oh well, even when the Aussies 'win' the ashes, they're still kept at Lords. I'm not much of a cricket fan, but this should be good to watch, mainly because it's going to be a pretty even contest this time, rather than the Aussies flattening us like they do normally.

posted by BigCalm at 09:05 AM on July 20, 2005

I can't see England beating the Aussies, and, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up a steamroller. The Australian teams have been ludicrously good for some time now and, their early hiccups in the one day games notwithstanding, they have so many players who can singlehandedly win games it's damn hard to put them under any real pressure. That said, I'd be delighted to see that obnoxious prick Ponting get a hiding. It's hard for an Aussie sportsman to really stand out as a graceless twat, but he manages to on a regular basis. Born on third base and thinks he's hit a home run, to mix sporting metaphors.

posted by rodgerd at 07:35 PM on July 20, 2005

We're winning? What's going on? 97 for 5 at lunchtime? I'm taking cover, England beating Australia must be surely a sign of the apocalypse.

posted by BigCalm at 06:49 AM on July 21, 2005

Better still, Harmo hit Ponting in the face with one that "got big on him" - the snivelling little idiot (and John Culshaw impersonator) needed a couple of butterfly stitches before he could play on, then got out shortly thereafter to another shortish ball. I snuck out from work to watch a bit of it. I darted into the pub, feeling ever so slightly guilty until I saw my boss sitting at the bar cheering at the TV.

posted by JJ at 07:29 AM on July 21, 2005

You can come out again now Clammy. Normal service has been resumed.

posted by squealy at 02:01 PM on July 21, 2005

That'll teach me to make predictions.

posted by rodgerd at 04:18 PM on July 21, 2005

Seventeen wickets on the first day? There's bound to be a result, but who the hell is the groundsman?

posted by owlhouse at 05:40 PM on July 21, 2005

Bugger me. Second innings on the second day, England trailing 40-odd.

posted by rodgerd at 05:41 AM on July 22, 2005

Could be worse, could be worse.

posted by BigCalm at 05:50 AM on July 22, 2005

"This is beyond village, this is hamlet cricket... and a remote scottish hamlet at that"

posted by JJ at 08:26 AM on July 22, 2005

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