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Is Gerraint Jones still in the picture? I couldn't handle it if we lost another Ashes and that utter hack was still in the team.

Hah - I hear he's been given the arse. Thank Christ - if anyone was more undeserving than most in that side, it was he. I'll miss Vaughan for similar reasons: I really can't work out why the poms have annoited him their greatest captain of all time (or so it often seems). Remember Edgbaston, when Lee almost pulled us out of the shit (thanks, Punter)? Vaughan was wandering around like an unregistered dog - there were times he didn't even seem capable of looking at the centre, let alone make a field placing. Weak-chinned wanker.
Whilst we have to give the poms due credit for winning, the simple fact is that they should have absolutely flogged us, and they didn't. The fact that their self-proclaimed best side just managed to best a shithouse Aussie side doesn't really cover them in glory. Having said that, I'll be interested to see who pads up for us - a competitive side, or more of the same?
I got my SACA Members card in the post the other day, and by Christ I'm looking forward to this summer. This numbing period between footy and cricket (Champions Trophy my arse) just about kills me every year.

Ditto, dawg! October, horse-racing and no proper sport is, in the words of noted sports pundit D.Duck - AaaaaGooooNeeee!

I still reckon Vaughan's a positive influence for the Poms, even though he looks to be perpetually sucking on a lemon. And in good nick, he's got to be a better batter than Bell. The Bell we've bowled to, anyway.

And if that bat waving dud Trescowthick gets among the runs again, I'll bloddy well have a fit.

Even though I'm an MCC member, I won't be going to Boxing Day. It's like a zoo then, with all the animals drunk and let out of their cages.

Don't write off the Poms, now that ball-tampering has received official sanction. Especially if Brett Lee's younger brother Mitchell Johnson is playing for Australia.

No fears, Tony, Geraint "Hands of Stone" Jones is well behind Chris Read these days. As for Vaughan, well anybody would look like a Yoda compared to dipstick Ponting - the worst Aussie captain I've seen. With a bit of luck he'll spend all summer swearing at the umpires and be banned for the last test where we beat your boys by 3 runs and tie the series 2-2 to retain the little urn.

Tresco's head is all over the place, but hopefully Bell will take some of his new form into the Ashes and use his bat when playing Warne and not his pads.

There's no doubt the Aussie empire is crumbling - Kasper??, Tait?? - but you should squeeze enough out of McGrath to back up Warnies 40 plus wickets to do enough this time. Enjoy it though, as a decade of English dominance begins in two years.

I can think of nothing more satisfying than watching the faces of Aussie fans as England tonk them all over the green. All those years of taunting. Oh it would be priceless.

Ya know who I miss? Nasser Hussain - noone knew how to lose an Ashes series like he did.

Clem: Invest in Super Strength Mints.

Woody: Keep dreaming about that "decade of dominance".

Kieren: Aussies don't taunt, we sledge. Ya fathead!

Vindi: You know why I like Nasser? Because when he commentates with Ian Botham, he seems to make the big bore seem vaguely bearable.

Bloody whingeing pom. Uh oh not supposed to say that in the new pc cricket environment.

Have no fear, Tony and minions. The Poms (this usage of "Poms" has been considered by the Human Rights Commission and other various unshaven armpit and gusset hags and adjudged 'fair use') are history.

I have a brand new portable Yamaha electric organ keyboard ($49.50 from KMart) and I have perfected the "Death March" to be played at key points during the Ashes series, such as when Richie leaves the commentary box or Flintoff raises his helmet to stroke his superbly coiffured buzz cut. More certain dismissal than Tony Grieg shrieking "Not Out, shirly that can't be out, oh wait, Yes it is, the umpire has given him, Oh God the world is ending, this beautifully framed replica of Inzimam Al Huq's sharpened fingernail is yours for only $60,000, $120,000 framed and signed with a genuine tampered ball, numbered starting at #14553, get in quick only 66340 more tampered balls to go".

My electronic VB Boonie is hooked up to the 12V car battery, and is already uttering dire threats and shooting laser beams from it's eyes. Peak power will be turned on at the call of "Play" in Brisbane. (only three cats and and a stray mouse died during the high voltage experiments under the house).

Did I mention that I love cricket, and that I am a True Sportsman in the Old English tradition?
"Play Up, Play Up, and Play The Game . . ." Then a sly kick in the nuts when they are writhing after a beamer and slash their tyres in the carpark while they're on the piss after the game.

Ashes 2006/7. Bliss.

I'm quite happy that the Ozzies, well McGrath anyway, have started their sledging a good two months before the series starts, but fancy picking on poor Monty Panesar.

He could be the difference between England winning and losing, I just hope that moment comes when he's bowling and not bloody fielding.

Did I see correctly? Is there now a Botham doll? Does it chase Ian Chappell out of a bar brandishing a stubbie?

Fancy picking on Monty Panesar?

Let's see, he's short n fat, can't bat, can't field, and looks like a terrorist.

All good valid reasons for us to take the piss out of him - I take it he'll be doing the tea break entertainment as well?

Yep. With Simon O'Donnell.

Today's issue of The Times (of London, no less) had an article about how England should not fear Australia's thirtysomething core. I for one am nervous that we won't be able to emulate last time's heroics.

I also hope that Panesar performs to his full potential, despite the fearful stick that he'll obviously get: he's as good a spinner as we've had in years (which may, admittedly, say more about our recent bowlers than about Monty). And if Bell can bring his form of this English summer to the Aussie summer, then we might have a hope.

Australia have been notoriously dodgy against good offies. I've not seen a lot of Monty, but from the little I've seen, he looks OK. He's certainly better than Poke 'Em Down Leg Side Giles. Without Jones Monty could be a very key player.


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