AUSTRALIA will not have long to wait to regain the urn should they lose again in England in 2013 with Cricket Australia yesterday confirming there will be back-to-back Ashes series from that year.
This move has been in the wind for some time now. England in particular have wanted to avoid playing Ashes in the lead-up to the World Cup. Russ (in the comments) is right that it was therefore either push the Ashes back and lose money or pull the Ashes forward. As Paul Keating once said: "Never get between a cricket administrator and a bucket of money."
There will be a log jam for a few months, but if the ensuing schedule shakes out neatly then short term inconvenience will soon be relegated to quiz questions about the quirky ten consecutive Tests.
That's assuming, as we all do, that T20 is still flavour of the month; something that might not be the case if this summer's poor attendance and ratings for the Big Bash is part of a greater trend:
THIS summer might have been terrible for the Australian Test team, but it is proving to be something of a triumph for Test and one-day cricket over the Twenty20 format.
Of course, there's jargon:
ECB marketing boss Steve Elworthy said the changes would "maintain momentum".
Whatever the prevailing sentiment, someone ought to tell Spanky:
If these roosters are fit, the Ashes could be reclaimed in 2014-15.
How tall are Pat Cummings and Sean Abbott? Are they they two new Glenn McGraths?
Not sure Colin Smith has a full grasp on cricket scheduling. No one is suggesting Australia & England play back-to-back Ashes series every year... although, now that I think about CA and the ECB thinking about it:
ONE of Australia's leading experts on sports broadcasting, Colin Smith, has warned that back-to-back Ashes series could dilute interest in the oldest rivalry in cricket.
Smith, who helped broker Cricket Australia's current telecast agreement with Channel Nine, which expires in 2013, said there was a risk of there being too much of a good thing.
"You've got to be really careful of swamping the game, because that can be a real issue,'' Smith said yesterday. ''The concept could be you give it a fillip to television audiences in Australia and in the UK, that's the upside of it. The downside of it is that it's basically two series in a row - it becomes less attractive and there's less public interest. I just think in terms of how you promote, you've got to be really careful of it. You don't get the market causing you a problem.''
Andrew Wu mentions the back-to-back Ashes in 1974/75. Those two series did not kill the golden geese.