We’d like to add a slightly more sober footnote to our post from last Friday.
We described back-to-back Ashes series as being ‘quite literally the worst idea of all time’. We stand by that and would like say that it’s actually the worst idea by an even greater margin that we had previously thought. Here’s why.
Every other year?
Ashes series have long been played every other year, give or take a few months as a result of the different seasons in England and Australia. However, up until fairly recently, there was only an event once every four years.
Up until satellite TV and the internet, only home Ashes series were a phenomenally big deal. Yes, you could get highlights at midnight on BBC1 and you could read the newspaper reports a day late, but an away series wasn’t all-pervasive like a home series was.
An away Ashes series didn’t unfold before you. It was something faintly unreal and distant. You really had to make an effort to keep up with it.
This meant that a home Ashes series was even more significant. The home series was the one you watched. This was the one people most cared about and it only happened once every four years.
Home and away
These days away series are almost as big a deal. You can get up early or stay up late and watch live coverage. You can read a million news reports via the internet. You can follow it on Twitter or on an obscure English cricket blog which unexpectedly goes all serious during the first Test.
An away Ashes series is now that much more vivid, it might as well be a home series. In effect, the big event is every other year, not once every four years. It’s slightly less special.
Now twice the same year? That’s really not special.