As another Ashes series gets underway, please tell us we aren’t in “oh shit” territory again already

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It’s the Ashes again. Australia won again. Oh shit?

If we have a recent sports writing regret, it’s that we only stumbled across the terms MAshes and WAshes after the men’s series had already finished. We very much like this terminology. We wish we’d already started using it.

Because it’s not cool to start using it for the women’s series, is it? If you’ve just spent a couple of months saying plain old ‘Ashes’ and then you switch to ‘WAshes’, it’s like saying, “that one was the proper one and now this one’s the different one.”

But used as a pair, ‘MAshes’ and ‘WAshes’ do a good job. We hope they catch on. They’re short, clear and punchy and they also prick the pomposity of the England v Australia contest in a way that pleases us.

So we’re going to say WAshes. But let it be known that we also say MAshes now.

So much for change though, because the first match of the WAshes was not so radically dissimilar to the recently-completed MAshes. And we have some concerns.

Australia are favourites for the series, obviously. They’ve held the trophy since 2015 and they’re playing at home. There’s being favourites and there’s being in “oh shit” territory though, isn’t there? We were kind of hoping this series might evade the latter scenario.

Early signs are not great. Australia left out Ellyse Perry, their greatest cricketer of the last 50 years, and also Beth Mooney, who’s suffered a broken jaw, and then went and won the first T20 by nine wickets.

Meg Lanning made 64 not out, which is fair enough. Tahlia McGrath took 3-26 and then came in at three and made 91 off 49 balls, which is very much not fair enough. McGrath hadn’t really registered with us before today, so we now have an extra Australia player to worry about.

The second of the three T20s is on Saturday. The Test match starts on January 27 and then there’s three 50-over games after that. There’s two points for a limited overs win and four for a Test win.

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16 comments

  1. If I read “WAshes” after “MAshes” I get it to read correctly – just a W in front of “Ashes”. If “WAshes” comes first, I see “washes” (as in, “washes the dishes”) with unusual capital letters

    1. It’s a stumbling block. We’ve every confidence it can be overcome with exposure though.

      Wait, what are you…? NO, NOT LIKE THAT!

  2. Too early.

    T20s can go big one way or the other without necessarily meaning anything to profound.

    But we are certainly in “oh shit, we MIGHT be in oh shit” territory. I hope that is clear.

    1. Perfectly clear. If you can’t distinguish between different hues of “oh shit” you have no business following England’s cricket teams.

      1. I was just shoe-horning in my very funny joke as opposed to properly panicking.
        They’re going to get tonked overall though. The Australian team is very strong indeed.

  3. I fear we may be closer than might be supposed. Now that Australia have got the two points from the first T20, they can lose the next two and even the Test and still retain the urn with three ODI wins – a format in which they’ve won all but one of their past 27 matches.

    Given that England haven’t won a Test since 2013, and the last two Ashes Tests have been drawn, we could well be into ‘hoping for a miracle’ territory already. We certainly will be if England lose tomorrow.

  4. …and in other, other news, I have always…

    …by which I mean “in the last five minutes since I learnt of its the existence”…

    ..thought that the absolute pinnacle of the game is the (soon to become traditional) Bilateral five-match T20I series between England and the West Indies…

    …aka The Bashes. I can hardly contain myself, waiting in eager anticipation.

      1. Oh “zeros” to “heroes” to “almost back to zeros” to “just about heroes in the end”.

        1-1 after two matches. Shove it. England is the best IT20 side in the whole world.

      2. Surely Mahmood should get some sort of KC award for trying to generate excitement out of a game where the opponent requires more than 6 a ball to win. Elite bowling of extras and to narrow it down to just a 1 run margin, marvellous.

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