Is the lead-up to the Ashes the best bit?

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The Ashes looking bigger than normal

We sometimes wonder, because in a way, it’s when Test cricket’s shown at its best.

No-one’s actually playing, but the fact that we still have so much to talk about despite that highlights what makes Test cricket better than every other sport. Even luge.

Will the humidity in Brisbane aid swing? Will the Adelaide Oval encourage reverse swing? Will Australia’s ageing batsmen find form? Will Ian Bell show the mental approach his technique deserves? Will Kevin Pietersen find the flat pitches allow him to cut loose? How many wides will Mitchell Johnson bowl?

There are almost infinite questions. Pit the same two teams against each other at different venues and you can logically deduce completely different results. Pit the same two teams against each other at the same venue in different weather and you can deduce completely different results.

Test cricket is fucking mint.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. There really is. The development of language is what has allowed us to achieve all that we have.

    Language has allowed for the development of abstract concepts, cooperation and society.

  2. Some people say that swearing indicates a limited vocabulary.

    That’s bollocks. If we use the word ‘bollocks’ and someone else doesn’t, we’ve one more word than they do.

    Swearing actually indicates an ever-so-slightly larger vocabulary.

  3. Jarrod Kimber probably swears more in print than he does speaking.

    We save swearing ‘for best’ on the site.

  4. Imagine Peter Siddle saying “Thou puking ill-nurtured maggot-pie!” to Jonathon Trott as the latter is digging around the crease.

  5. This article was supposed to be about how the build-up to an Ashes series is part of the whole experience, and not a discussion on the gratuitous use of swear words in a childish attempt to add shock-value to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. For fuck’s sake.

    I haven’t previously enjoyed the build-up to an Ashes series, being as it usually consisted of a series of overnight (i.e. Australian) emails using logic and facts to ridicule our chances of winning, with no possibility of retort. This time I am mightily enjoying it. The Aussie first team (those who played) scored 41 for 7 in the Sheffield Shield, a statistic only slightly ruined by the 121 that Mitchell Johnson fluked. Combining this with their inability to pick 11 players, the failure of the second string as well (which at least proves that they are equally able), and the calm, assured success of the tourists, I am becoming quite sure that I can enjoy this build-up as much as the actual series itself. In fact, my only worry is that with hindsight the build-up might turn out to be the highlight.


  6. Another question might be, how racist can Graemme Swann be towards Mushtaq Ahmed before it really is too much?

    As an aside, can we have a post on his video diary soon, perhaps a special feature on ‘The Sprinkler’?

  7. I too am enjoying the build-up; an over-confident english side and an australian side in disaray. Something has to give.
    Admittidly i want both teams to lose… unfortunately this ideal outcome has not been allowed for.

  8. I’m going to use “Thou puking ill-nurtured maggot-pie!” tomorrow in my club game.

    KC it seems that Ian Bell has made a massive miscalculation. As I write he passed 170 against Australia A in the warmup game.

    Since we all know batsmen only have a finite amount of runs to allocate the selectors need to drop him immediately for someone who has underperformed.

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