10 Ashes Tests in a row

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Sweet fucking Christ, does everyone in the world of cricket suffer from all three major forms of retardation? This is quite literally the worst idea of all time.

Back-to-back Ashes series. Ten England v Australia Tests in a row. Does no-one who has control over anything have even the most basic understanding of sport?

We should have seen it coming

The fresh, punchy Twenty20 World Cup that was far, far shorter than the 50-over World Cup was really popular. The overlong 50-over World Cup was massively disappointing.

They decided to shorten the 50-over World Cup and for a very short while we were all full of hope. Lesson learned?

No. They then announced that the Twenty20 World Cup was going to be longer, because that was the popular one.

But back-to-back Ashes? That’s something else

We get that the next Ashes in Australia can’t be played the same year as the World Cup that’s also taking place there. But quite honestly, we’d rather miss a series than have two back-to-back.

Yeah yeah yeah, commercial concerns and all that. We get it. But we also don’t give a shit about that.

Let us spell it out clearly and simply: the Ashes is a big deal because it is an event. That’s the whole fucking point.

It’s not about England v Australia. That’s why no-one gives a toss about these one-day matches. The Ashes is special because it doesn’t happen every day. Looking forward to it is half the point.

You can’t have the best thing all of the time because it rapidly becomes devalued. Too much of anything and it becomes mundane.

Any idiot knows that your 10th slice of cake isn’t as good as your first. And don’t you dare disagree – we’re not in the mood. Eating cake all the time would be fun for about half a day. Then it would be boring. Then it would be miserable.

What possible excuse can you give for having the same two teams play 10 Tests in a row against each other?

Let’s ask ECB marketing boss, Steve Elworthy. Why, Steve? Why?

Why the fuck are you ruining one of the last decent events in cricket?

“It’s important to maintain momentum.”

Jesus. This is what we’re up against.

We are completely fucked. Cricket will be dead within a decade.


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    HOW GOOD WOULD THAT BE!?!?!?!?!?!

    Fuck you, Steve Elworthy. Fuck you.

    Even if the decision was nothing to do with you, your hollow marketing speak amounts to tacit approval and also helps inveigle people into thinking this idea isn’t fully shit.

  2. The truth is that the Ashes largely finances English and Aussie cricket. Lose an Ashes series and grounds remain empty and the TV deal suffers (Sky are already trying to claw back money).

    The England cricket set-up has to get used to living on less, it’s the only way the national team can cut back on games, the counties can get their hands on their England players from time-to-time and some cricket stands a chance of reappearing on free-to-view.

  3. Back-to-back Ashes and 15 tests in 2.5 years (I think).

    I’d like to see 6 match tests, but this schedule is madness.

    I’ll still watch/go though.

  4. Think I’m wrong. The plan is 15 tests in 24 months.

    More if England and Australia meet in the test world championships in 2013.

  5. Damn fucking right, KC. This has made me very angry.
    Then again I’m already drunk and angry because the fool of a DJ refused to play ‘The Living Daylights’, but this just takes the biscuit.

  6. FFS, just swop them so Australia host next and move England’s back a year. Australia in 2012/13. England in 2014.

    Then you can keep to that schedule.

    Frankly KC I am shocked you are giving it a decade. Assuming everyone coins money at the next IPL (safe bet) I would think that by 2015 there won’t be any recognizable first-class cricket left anywhere in the world.


  7. I feel that this is more of a cry of cricket dying in England / Australia than in the world.

    For cricket to die in India you need to

    1) Give the cricket crazy nation an over dose of mostly mediocre matches

    2) Make the viewing experience even worse by giving the hosting rights to the least professional broadcaster

    3) Make sure corrupt politicians make a career out of administrating cricket.

    Hah, Imagine that happening!

  8. Apart from agreeing that we’re all phuct, here are some things that suggest we might not me.

    All these commercial decisions rely on one thing: people actually watching and following the cricket. Without that none of it is worth anything. So, when they completely screw up the schedule and no one watches, there has to be a natural readjustment; capitalism at its best.

    This had happened before: around 1979,80,81, England played Aus every bloody week. People got tired of it. I read an editorial from The Cricketer magazine from May 1981 that said the same as KC without the swearing: enough Ashes! Then 1981 happened and everything seemed fine. Which leads onto my final point …

    The game, and Test cricket, is just too good to fuck up. It wins. Everything will be alright because people love good things and as KC has said before, without exaggeration, Test cricket is one of man’s greatest inventions.

    Jilly Cooper’s books didn’t stop people enjoying Shakespeare. Don’t panic.

  9. D, I do think that although people love good things, if they gorge on too many things, they’ll still end up feeling ill.

    If the football World Cup was held every year, it would be less of an event. If Led Zeppelin toured every year, their ‘one-off’ show in London of a few years hence would be just another concert. If every number was a prime number, prime numbers would be meaningless.

    The Ashes are special, and winning them entitles the victorious team (and nation) to bragging rights for a considerable time. If the winners of the next series only secure those bragging rights for a few months, then there is something special which is lost.

    Test Cricket will still be A Wonderful Thing, but so much of its unique quality is tied up in the significance of every ball, every run. Having back-to-back series is a bit like having a seven-match ODI series, and we can all see how exciting that is, can’t we?

  10. We totally agree that Test cricket will never die and have said as much before now (the ‘dead within a decade’ line is just rhetoric).

    What makes us angry is that no-one ever seems to learn anything, hence the 20- and 50-over World Cup example in this article. It just happens again and again.

    It’s almost wilful stupidity – a kind of pig-headed refusal to take in the most obvious information.

    Does anyone actually think about these things or do they simply react to stimuli like microorganisms?

    “People like it. People will be happy with more of it.”

  11. ECB marketing boss Steve Elworthy said the changes would “maintain momentum”.

    “we want to protect the Ashes brand.”

    Really? Is that really what they want to do?

  12. Er, AP Webster, it *would* be a wonderful thing if all numbers were prime numbers. No multiplication tables, no long division – what’s not to like?

  13. Rocket Hat (nice name – an aspiration rather than an achievement, I presume?), I’m no maths expert, but I think it would also be logically impossible.

    I’m with you on the long division though, I can’t say I’m a fan.

  14. England wants to cash in and make up for all the beatings they took at Aussie hands since 1989. What better way than to play 15 tests against a pussy side with pup in charge…Smart planning…They’ll look like a team with balls again after repeatedly crushing a whimpering Aussie team.

  15. You say that the 10th slice doesn’t taste as good as the first. I can definitely thing of a Kent opening batsman/captain/living legend who may disagree with this.

  16. i’m not even going to hit 30 before something awful like baseball becomes more watchable.

    considering watching baseball is like ripping out your own eyeballs and replacing them with live, rabid mice, i’m probably going to jump off the pavilion at lords in the near future….

  17. Yesterday we (the royal version) saw Mr Afridi score 50 off 8 deliveries and in the words (almost) of Maximus Decimus Meridius ‘we were not entertained’

    Limited overs cricket has become an almost turgid, monotonous stream of dull games punctuated by seemingly amazing individual performances that nobody is particularly awed by mainly because they aren’t that awesome.

    Test cricket by definition is about the context and not the individual and therefore unless the context is killed the cricket will remain great. Will 10 consecutive tests kill the context of Ashes cricket? Probably not, but I’ll be damned if I am willing to take that risk.

  18. This is a big mistake. Once you have guys talking about the Ashes brand, then you know the concept is doomed. Capitalism will put the market right? Really? Tell that to the Japanese…(still not recovered from negative equity after 20 years).
    What was thrilling about the 2010/11 Ashes is that they became front page as well as back page news. There is no doubt cricket has become more popular again. It was just the most amazing Series which will become legendary. What a triumph after 24 years. But you can’t keep the ‘momentum’ etc by having more of the same!! That is just nonsense. The Ashes are special, the build up, the speculation, all add to the drama. Take away the drama and the Ashes will become routine. How dreadful.
    Pity the players. They will lose 2 important years playing the same people over and over again.
    This is the worst decision that has been made about cricket in a decade.

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