The 1981 Ridiculous Ashes

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2 minute read

After losing out to the BBC and The Independent after being shortlisted in two categories of the Sports Podcast Awards earlier this year, ourself and Dan Liebke have dusted ourselves down and climbed back on our (pantomime) horse for another series of the Ridiculous Ashes. This time around we’ve gone all the way back to 1981 because no-one’s ever thought to talk about the 1981 Ashes before.

We’re presuming you know the premise of the Ridiculous Ashes by now. If not, it’s about scoring the silliest moments delivered by each side in each Test to arrive at a ‘ridiculous’ winner for each match and eventually the series as a whole.

With Ian Botham, Bob Willis, Dennis Lillee et al, the 1981 Ashes should offer rich pickings. In fact despite the way it’s usually billed, it was actually a real ensemble performance. Halfway down the cast list and you’re still wading through A-list ridiculous stars like Geoff Boycott and Mike Gatting.

We’ll add embeds of all the episodes further down the page, as and when they go live.

Here are some subscription links.

And here are links to the previous series of the Ridiculous Ashes.

Episode 1

First up, it’s Trent Bridge, where Alex and Dan discuss two-men bowling attacks, the sad decline of ferrets as a commentary descriptor, and Ian Botham being dreadful at everything.

Episode 2

Alex and Dan wander over to Lord’s for the second Test of the 1981 Ridiculous Ashes, where they delight in the startling entrance to the series of Ray Bright. After recovering from that, they also muse upon inaccurate descriptions of inches and whether cricket players should be treated like toast.

Episode 3

Alex and Dan are off to Headingley for the third Test, an unremarkable match that has mostly been forgotten by all but the most obsessive of cricket fans. Despite this, they uncover some moments of absurdity, including prototype Peter Siddles, England hair quotas and a tragic lack of Bane narration.

Episode 4

To Edgbaston for the fourth Test, where Alex and Dan revel in the absurdity of Australian amphibian-based shithousery, alphabetical batting orders and more preposterous Ian Botham antics.

Episode 5

Alex and Dan catch up at Manchester, where they are confronted with the tedium of Chris Tavaré’s batting, Kim Hughes’ precognitive insight into obscure Return of the Jedi quotes and shared regret about Knott being able to make puns.

Episode 6

Alex and Dan wrap up the 1981 Ridiculous Ashes at The Oval, receiving annoying slaps on the back from small children, embracing odd number-centric scorecard revisions, and speculating about hypercolour headbands.

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      1. I realise on reflection that the majority of that 1st test was over by the time of my special (or should I say “Specials”?) week noted above.

        Most of that test was during the latter part of this chronicle:

        …in which Awesome Simon’s kid sister Sue came to visit. Sue has since produced a fine cricketer I. The form of her daughter Lily.

        Trigger warning – if you read the postscript at the end of this piece, you will never again be able to hear the song “Tiger Feet” without an unseemly mental image. Had I known about that postscript when I wrote the piece, I’d have headlined it “Mud In The Nud”. That’s right, that’s right, that’s right, that’s right….

        …and all the while a great Ashes test series was getting underway. Who knew?

  1. Fantastic that it’s back, appreciate it must be a proper ballache to put together. Might be my bias, but Ashes in England just feel inherently more ridiculous than ones in Australia.

  2. It’s gone all fancy (sort of) with adverts and everything.

    It will be interesting to hear a different version of the 1981 story that many of us have heard over and over through the years in the established way that focuses almost exclusively on Barbecues, Botham and Bob Willis.

    1. Yeah, sorry there have to be ads. We can’t crowdfund everything unfortunately.

      There will still be quite a lot of Botham and Willis, but quite a bit alongside them. Probably shouldn’t say this being as we’re trying to get you all to listen, but we’d also say the first one isn’t the strongest episode.

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