Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ashes Ashes Ashes

This series has completely crept up on me. And not because I was too busy reading this gem (thanks @M_Littlewood84!), but because it seems to be thought of as a foregone conclusion.

Not even Cricket Australia’s TV commercial, which has far too much John Howard in it, places any confidence in our team. Make no mistake my friends, they’re trying to tell us the glory is in the struggle. This is not true. The glory is in the win, win after win, series after series. We may be perched on the edge of our seats but we don’t want to be. We want it to be done and dusted by game 3 and the rest is quiet contempt for the Barmy Army and the satisfaction of knowing that equilibrium has been restored.

Oh heady days of yonder.

Basically, I don’t give a flying piranha whether the two teams catch up over chai lattes after the match. I care about sporting success. We’re here for the win. Yet, this team is a shambles. They are the cricketing equivalent of the little boy who is so proud to run in the school athletics carnival and dawdles his way to finishing last, waving at his mum the whole time.

So Michael Clarke and Shane Watson don’t get along. Somehow this doesn’t work in the same way that Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne didn’t get along (eg productively). I would suggest vanity might be a factor in this. But everyone knows being on the Australian cricket team for the Ashes is pretty much the most prestigious thing an Australian man (or a Pakistani refugee) can be, so please, just step up! Unlike others I take no comfort in Michael Clarke scoring a century against a county side last week. Is it so wrong to expect nothing less? Where were the staunchly high standards we once had?

The English will be seeking a glittering trifecta after the Lions’ success and ‘winning’ Wimbledon.

The Australians are hoping to avoid a crushing defeat.

And as for me, I’m expecting Mickey Arthur’s sacking to be justified. Game on.

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