Ashes 100-1 Countdown: 25 Days Until the Ashes
David Green aka The Reverse Sweep provides us with 10 things not to cherish during the upcoming Ashes series.
With the England team en route to Perth and the 1st Test at Brisbane now less than four weeks away, the Ashes suddenly seems so much closer. The excitement is certainly starting to build and like all cricket fans we at the Reverse Sweep cannot wait for the action to begin.
But there are many aspects of the Ashes not to look forward to. Here are ten:
1. The Channel 9 Commentary team
Australia may have provided some of the best cricketers in history, but it has also produced some of the worst commentators. Richie Benaud apart and let’s face it he should stick to the Sanatogen at his age, the team consists of the token Pom – Mark Nicholas and then the Australian cheerleading squad of Healy, Taylor, Lawry and Slater. One can only hope that the likes of Atherton and Hussain will be employed to provide some more articulate words. If not there is always Test Match Sofa.
2. Michael Clarke’s Press Conferences
Let’s be honest, the vast majority of modern day cricketers spout utter banalities at the plethora of press conferences they have to attend. Graeme Swann and the old guffaw from Kevin Pietersen apart, listening to the others is like sticking pins in your eyes. But the worst culprit has to be Michael ‘I only speak in the third person’ Clarke. The reason why there will never be a big screen at Beachy Head is because anyone watching and listening to Clarke would consider suicide a better option.
3. Blanket advertising
Australian television is not quite as bad as the US for mindless advertising, but it isn’t far off. If it wasn’t bad enough having to listen to the Channel 9 idiots, the regular plugs for the KFC Classic Catch, the Cricket Australia Travel Agency and worst of all the Gatorade Heart Monitor will have you pressing for the mute button and the pins for your Michael Slater doll.
For those of us watching the action in the UK (or France, in our case) through the night, the Ashes will lead to an increase in the number of sleep deprived zombies on the streets, which can’t be a good thing as far as road traffic accidents and work productivity in a (near) recession are concerned.
5. John Buchanan
For some inexplicable reason, England have hired the former Australian coach as a ‘consultant’ for the series. So far he seems more akin to a double-agent with his unhelpful comments about Kevin Pietersen. Indeed, we’re with KP on this – Buchanan is a ‘nobody’ and anyone (even Peter Moores) could have coached the Australian side during his era at the helm. Faced with a choice of listening to Michael Clarke or Buchanan spouting crap, we’d opt for Clarke every time.
The Adelaide Oval is one of the best and most picturesque cricket grounds in the World. However, for any England supporter who witnessed the events of the final day at Adelaide in the 2006/07 series, even the merest mention is likely to bring on heart palpitations and three-month long nightmares.
7. Mitchell’s Mother
Some cricketers have to cope with publicity hungry girlfriends and wives – just ask Michael Clarke. But poor old Mitchell has to cope with his mother, who makes that complete waste of space Jordan seem mild in comparison. Expect to see Mrs Johnson with her rolling pin and apron waiting at the boundary edge throughout the series to give the wayward Mitchell a piece of her mind.
Those of us that follow England are probably more confident about this Ashes series down under than any since 1986/87 – and even then England were labelled as the team that ‘can’t bat, can’t bowl and can’t field’ early on that tour. But a quick look at the history books will quickly tell us that England have only won four series in Australia since World War II and one of those in 1978/79 was against an Australian side weakened by several defections to World Series Cricket. History is clearly not on England’s side.
9. Shane Watson
Even most of the Australian fans don’t like the preening excuse for a man that is Watson. However, he seems to have transformed from an all-rounder made of glass into an opening batsman who keeps inexplicably scoring buckets of runs. If James Anderson proves to be as ineffectual with the kookaburra as feared, expect Watson to fill his boots. Losing would be hard enough, but seeing Watson do well would probably be too much.
10. 5-0 references
If Australians were understandably amused by the English media conveniently forgetting about the 2006/07 series when the Ashes were at stake in England last summer, expect the reverse this time. Don’t be surprised if 2009 becomes Australia’s Afghanistan – the ‘forgotten war’ as the heat rises before Brisbane. And if Australia win there…
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