1. PixelFish on #

    My brain blinked a lot at that statement, until the homunculi who run Filing, came trotting up with The Ashes. (Which I only know about because I am a US citizen who read Elizabeth George’s novel, Playing For The Ashes, and had to have all that explained to me in the first place.)

  2. Roger on #

    I fear that you are correct. The precious urn has been willfully lost by a team who are not fit to be called Englishmen.

    Time I went to sleep.

  3. Rose on #

    The Ashes are DEFINITELY back where they belong, well said. Just finished watching the remarkable game where Australia took back what was rightfully theirs. The poor English looked completely shell-shocked, because Australia simply carved up out on the field. Far too good for them, not to mention the fact that Flintoff’s captaincy efforts were below par. When faced with a simple equation – attack and lose, or defend and draw? – he seemed to choose losing. I couldn’t comprehend it. It’s the ASHES, for crying out loud, and he seemed to just give them away.

    But nevermind that. Australia won, and that’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time!

    And by the way, Justine; I think it’s fantastic that you love cricket! You’re about the only female author I’ve ever heard of who even mentions the game, let alone loves it like I do. I salute you!

  4. jonathan on #

    five nil. only then will things be truly right. symonds will make the squad in melbourne, because they won. other than that, who knows? change is going to come. interestingly, for all the talk of dad’s army, i think this tour has ended more english careers than australian ones. wonder how daren lehman will go as england coach.

  5. Justine on #

    Roger: I hope you have slept and the bitteness has seeped out of your body. The English weren’t all hopeless. Pietersen, Panesar, Cook, Bell, Hoggard, Harmison and Collingwood all put in some fabby performances.

    Rose: Ruth Starke wrote a series of cricket books begining with Nips XI which are delightful. So that’s at least one other one!

    The captaincy and management and selection of the English team was woeful. Made a hard task even harder. I really hope they get their shit together cause they’ve got some real talent.

    But, yes, Australia won! And we did it comprehensively and spectacularly. Me happy! I will stop bagging Ponting as a captain. He did just fine this series.

    Jonathan: Five nil would be lovely. But I do want the English to ramp up some fight. It won’t be as much fun if they collapse completely!

    Yup, Giles is already gone, Geraint Jones has to be a goner also. Flintoff can’t retain the captaincy. Is Vaughan better yet?

    As for Symonds—Watson’s continued injury woes should keep him in the side. I do wish his appearance had been less uneven, though . . .

  6. jonathan on #

    did you read pietersen’s column in the news of the world. i’d like to think the poms have some fight in them, but when you’re leading run scorer and hottest bright new prospect is writing like a stinking surrender monkey two days before the game is over, it doesn’t look good for them, does it?

  7. Justine on #

    I did. It was very odd. It’s going to be very interesting to see if the Poms really battle for the next two tests. Or if they concede before they begin like in the Champion’s cup. I’m really hoping they’ll be up for a proper barny and that we still win!

  8. jonathan on #

    i see australia has named the same eleven to play in melbourne as played in perth. symonds stays in. can the surrender monkeys bounce back? i don’t think so.

  9. Justine on #

    I was so relieved to see that. One more chance for Symonds!

  10. Rose on #

    there seems to be more people than I thought who don’t like Ponting as captain… I just don’t get it, I think the man’s a legend. At least he is able to cope with the pressures of both captaincy and being the best batsman in the world. Poor old Freddie, on the other hand, just can’t seem to cope at all with dual responsibilities. And one thing I love about Ponting is he’s one fierce little piece of work. He wanted that urn back with a burning passion, and no pom was going to stop him. And now he can rest easy :).

    My God. Roy. One of my favourite cricketing subjects. I love the man. Though to see his varied performance at the WACA was a little nerve-wracking for me. He could have done without that 2 in the second innings, and made it really hard for the selectors then. As for Watson, I have no time for him whatsoever. The selectors seem to have a bit of a crush on him, but why the hell would you put him in instead of the best fielder in the world, a better batsman (more entetaining), and a better bowler? Seems pretty stupid to me. And I dunno about anyone else, but when Roy’s not on the field, I really miss seeing dreds and zinced-up lips. It just adds something to the game…

    Yes, the English cricket team have talent. Namely Pietersen and Cook. Geraint Jones is a little traitor and I would quite enjoy seeing him axed. As well as that, he’s just not a good enough wicket-keeper.

    And thank you, justine. I shall look up Ruth Starke’s work asap, sounds very interesting.

  11. Justine on #

    Rose: I was really unimpressed by Ponting’s captaincy during the 2005 Ashes. Some really shocking decisions that went along way towards us losing. I also think he can be unimaginative about batting order and field placing, but he’s been improving a lot on that front too. Also his terror of enforcing the follow on drives me spare.

    He’s a genius batsman. No question. But genius batting does not necessarily equal genius captaincy. Exhibit A: Viv Richards.

    My model for a genius captain is Clive Lloyd. Ponting’s improved a great deal but he has a very very very long way to go before he’s even a tenth as good as Lloyd.

    I’m with you on Watson. Give me Symonds any day! Here’s hoping he’s spectacular with the bat in Melbourne.

    A bit harsh on Geraint Jones! Him being a traitor I mean. He totally doesn’t deserve his place on the English side.

    Nips XI and its sequel are great fun kid’s books. If they weren’t in storage I’d be reading them again.

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