We’ve reached a conclusion. We’re all dead.
That’s right. Each and every one of us is dead. But we’ve not gone to heaven. Instead, we’re all stuck in purgatory working off our sins. It’s an Ashes purgatory of inevitable, unendurable tension where Tests are still in the balance right up to the last ball and that’s our punishment.
But the joke’s on whoever put us here, because purgatory’s brilliant. Who knew? Purgatory’s a bloody joy and we’ve got four more Tests of it yet.
Test cricket is the pinnacle of all sport. After five days of conflict, Australia were one ball away from victory. This situation lasted an hour or more and our hearts were vibrating more than beating.
This is the brilliance of the sport. While a close football match might feature five minutes of tension at the death, cricket gives you an hour and a half and it’s no easier to endure. The effect’s magnified by how fragile the situation is. Every delivery in cricket’s the equivalent of a shot on goal and the people who your hopes rest with are the people least qualified to do the job.
Anyone who thinks a drawn Test is boring isn’t welcome here in purgatory.