Did you know that it’s the Magellan Ashes this time around?

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Sponsorship is a wonderful thing. It keeps fun stuff profitable and it allows sports players to sound institutionalised and cut off from reality.

Midway through the British summer, we saw Alastair Cook being interviewed on breakfast TV. Consummate professional that he is, Cook never once said “Test” when he could instead say “Investec Test match,” which gave rise to some spectacularly clunky sentences.

Cook isn’t one of life’s great orators, but he was England captain long enough that he can now autopilot his way through these jarring phrases without screaming at the skies, demanding that Odin get a grip on things because the modern world’s really gone too far.

Despite repeatedly reading it, we’ve only been dimly aware that the upcoming Ashes is also prominently sponsored. It’s going to be the Magellan Ashes. It’s being sponsored by Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese lad who would have been the first to circumnavigate the world except for the small matter of getting himself killed halfway round.

Now we know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that travelling halfway round the world to get killed sounds about right for this Ashes, because you’re either a pessimistic Brit or an Australian.

We jest of course. The Ashes sponsor is in fact Magellan’s Expedition, one of the Wonders from the all-time classic computer game Civilization.

Now it may seem odd to you that a cricket series is going to be sponsored by a major achievement from a very old computer game. All we can say to that is set your disbelief aside, because this is a fact, and you’re just going to have to go along with it.

You’re probably wondering about the extraordinary benefits bequeathed to the player’s civilisation by the Magellan’s Expedition, which will surely be pertinent to the upcoming Test series. Well that is a question answered at the climax of this video. Trust us when we say you must watch this in full.

23 comments

      1. I was reading something about Cricket Australia. Had already set my disbelief aside and then trying to set it aside again – two negatives made a positive.

        Also, Your Maj, because (I assume) I had multiple links to other sites in my post, it went into a rather blandly named “Moderation Queue”. One should really look to change that to something like “Awaiting the King’s Judgment”.

      2. It used to say it was awaiting the third umpire. Didn’t realise it had changed. That’s a shame.

        Will take a look now.

      3. That’s weird. There’s nothing in “pending” nor in spam (at least by you – the site blocked its millionth spam comment a bit back and we meant to mark the event with some sort of celebration).

        Maybe it’s a phone thing. We’ll check on our desktop shortly.

      4. Sorry, can’t see anything. Not sure how that one’s slipped through the various nets. Everything should end up in one of them.

      5. My very first post, with all the links in it, was definitely awaiting moderation. Oh well, its posted now.

      6. Oh that one. We saw it yesterday. Maybe we approved it then and you were seeing a cached version of the page or summat.

  1. “Movement rate of all ships is increased by two.”

    Can you get that on a t-shirt? I genuinely only understand about three paragraphs of this blog, not being involved in computer games or anything.

    I’ve also taken a bit of a sabbatical from comments. Apologies KC. I never left you. When did I last comment?!

    1. Only March, but welcome back all the same.

      Would be an unbelievably good T-shirt.

      The Magellan Ashes. Movement of all ships increased by two.

  2. Family legend has it that one of my ancestors was the first man to circumsise the world.

    Don’t rely on that factoid when answering history exam questions, kids.

  3. Ah man I wasted so much time on Civ, I say wasted but at the time it seemed much more interesting than a history essay.

    The extra square was useful but it was no Great Wall or a Hoover Dam, those two were the daddies of wonders of the world. Civ 5 is about now apparently but I’ve promised myself not to go back, moorish stuff Civ.

    1. The Hoover Ashes sound like they’d be the last Ashes ever. You’d need to burn yourself some new ones if you wanted another go at it …

      1. I’m imagining Danny Morrison screeching:

        “HE’S HOOVER-SWEPT THE BALL FOR FOUR…”

        …”THE NEXT BALL’S A MAGELLAN MAXIMUM!! A HUGE BLOW – IT MUST HAVE GONE HALF WAY ROUND THE WORLD.”

      2. ‘It’s another Great Pyramid Moment of Success. I’m not exactly sure why Ben Stokes has punched a falcon’s eye out…’

    1. Very very rarely, I am glad we merely suffer the incompetence of the ECB, rather than the incompetence of someone else…

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