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TKYCraig

Spot on Tone.
Earlier today, I Facebook-messaged some Pommy mates of mine basically saying the same.

"If we win back the Ashes it will be more by luck than skill or talent. If England don't win, then they would have missed the biggest chance of 2 generations to win the Ashes in Australia.
I'm calling it: English Ashes Win 3-0."

As painful as it was to write that, it is sometimes better to face up to a problem than shy away from it. Better to get a good sledging now and be done with it.

Tony

Talk it up. Drum it in that the Poms are certainties. It's our only chance.

Russ

Want to know an even scarier thought? CA's entire financial strategy is predicated on making a loss 3 years in 4 and recouping that from Indian tv revenue when they tour, and the World Cup windfall. But what if we end up so shit India don't want to tour? Or do a 2 test jobbie every 5 years like we do to the West Indies and New Zealand now?

Good luck keeping players from retiring onto the T20 band-wagon then.

Tony

From gravy train to spittoon.

David Barry

Russ, I heard that comment from Sutherland on Inside Cricket the other day. Does he really mean to say that Ashes tours aren't profitable? That's a scary thought.

Big Ramifications

What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?

Russ

DB, given they haven't published an annual report in 3 years it is hard to tell. I do know, over a 4 year cycle, NZ split their revenue pretty much evenly 4 ways: India, Aus/Eng, World Cup, the rest. The World Cup revenue is spread over several years, so on a summer to summer basis the outgoing payments (mostly player wages) are much higher than revenue except when India tour.

If you think about it, the Ashes would bring in 2-3 times the money the previous two years did (accounting for what nine would be willing to pay if individual games were syphoned off), but India probably brings in 5 times the base amount (if not more). If you spend all the money you are given over a 4 year cycle that goes 1,1,2.5,5 (+2.5 for the world cup) then every year but one is in deficit, but only because expenditure is determined over the 4 year cycle.

Big Ramifications

Don't you love your country?

Bradders

Whereas I agree with you that this is England's best chance to win in Australia for 20 years - I can't handle England being placed in the position of favourites... Its just not natural and i fear that the England team will feel the same!

To be fair - whilst being hugely exciting - its bound to remain a mid table battle of mediocrity rather than anything else!

Good piece though.

Professor Rosseforp

I have sort of supported England all my life. I haven't even looked at this team, so I have no idea what the England team is like. I don't need to. Bitter experience tells me that they are as likely to win the Ashes as the Socceroos were to win the World Cup Football comp -- probably less so. I have seen good English teams beaten by poor Australian teams forever.
I await the English selectors' first use of the term "balanced" when they pick their side.

Tony

I wonder if the English selectors have "group" fixation, too. Or do the prefer "unit"?

Tony

Bradders, this blog is pushing England in to unbackable favouritism. No sane man will get on them at $1.01 the trip... sorry, the win. Was just channeling Gerard Whateley there. Over the last week he has said "the trip" in relation to horse racing roughly as many times as Mark Nicholas rolled his consonants.

Big Ramifications

Now answer my question or you'll be standing tall before the man.

Tony

Who, me? You mean about "Don't you love your country"? I thought you were talking to Russ. Would be rude of me to butt in.

Tony

Or do you mean about "some kind of sick joke"? I thought you were talking to Dave Barry. Would be butt of me to rude in.

Tony

Whenever I hear "clears the front foot" I think of some bloke at a urinal having a piss.

Bradders

Well you're doing a good job of it! I plan to write some very pro aussie as favourites stuff to redress the balance... Its the only thing that will make me feel better!

Russ

New Zealand must be the only team in the world who bowl their overs at the required rate. Taking the new ball with three quarters of an hour of play remain is just plain odd.

On the other hand, their fast over-rate is basically letting India score more runs. With the ball already coming through at ankle height and no swing to speak of the New Zealand innings will be interesting (read: either fighting for a draw or completely disastrous).

I was reminded of one of the more evocative pieces of commentary I can recall when Sehwag was dismissed though. In '91 when Richie Richardson had carved Australia up for 182 off 260 balls, and walked off with the score 3/353 (already 5 in front) the commentator says: "out with the apprentice, in with the master". And there is Viv Richards, with his muscular arm swings, expansive gum chewing and nonchalant contemptuous gaze at the deflated fielding side. Tendulkar lacks Viv's presence, but after Sehwag has smashed you for 173, seeing TLM wander to the crease must be depressing: there will be no collapse, there is no pathway back into this game, you will be chasing an impregnable total.

Sid

Just been glancing at the Ashes schedule. For us in the UK, two of the Tests start at 11.30pm, three start at midnight, and bloody Perth is 2.30am. (Tomorrow's tour game kicks off at 3.30am, which at least means we'll see a semi-decent spell going into stumps.)

No wonder none of us Poms knows what happened in 2006-7.

Sid

"(Tomorrow's tour game kicks off at 3.30am, which at least means we'll see a semi-decent spell going into stumps.)"

Argh. No it doesn't. Bloody 2.30!

Big Ramifications

I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man.

Tony

Duality of Man is a racehorse. Two racehorses, actually.

Big Ramifications

Then how about getting with the program? Why don't you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?

Russ

Tony, this article pretty much summarises where I've been the past year. Trouble is:

For any supporter who wants changes in the dugout, the next two months are crucial. Losing streaks must be well timed. Too early and they will not spread the necessary panic in the boardroom, too late and, well, only a madman would cheer their team to defeat in late-March when they are hovering around the drop zone. Not even the most selflessly devoted fan wants relegation, they just want to use the threat of it for leverage. It is the brinkmanship of the drop and this is its season.

That ridiculously easy run of games last summer meant we've carried the same bunch of passengers into The Series That Matters.

Russ

Good old WA, putting the boot into England early. 2/0 after 2 overs. Middle order stalwart and man for a crisis Marcus North in already.

Tony

Russ, I love that article.

The following paragraph is certainly ties in with the "plumb great depths" piece above:

When such measures have failed it becomes obvious to most fans that the time for pussyfooting around is over. The club needs to be taught a harsh lesson for its own good. Once the supporter has arrived at this state, all normal reactions are reversed. His catchphrase at home games becomes "There you are. What did I tell you?"

The rest of it speaks to me, a Melbourne supporter and beneficiary of tanking.

Carrot

Tone, when did you stop being Tony T. in the comments?

Can't agree with your remarks about being at the foot of the table being good for Australian cricket by the way - witness the West Indies' demise. Will they EVER recover and be a decent side again? I very much doubt it.

Australian supporters, broadcasters, promoters and marketers can probably put up with Australia being mediocre for awhile - but genuinely bad? That'll be a death knell.

Lou

Nah, we just want change and we want it now.

I was at the tour match yesterday. Voges looked great. Shame he doesn't really want it enough if you know what I mean. As he looks easily good enough for international cricket.

Broad looked the most threatening of the bowlers. Swann looked like might as well have not turned up. He'll improve you'd expect. Funny that Wes Robinson, a leftie who is hardly the most talented player going, played him so well apart from an intial bit of wild swinging.

The Warriors are so pants, I expected them to fold for about 100. North bored for ages then tarted swinging at everything. Stupid play, for a smart guy he really is an idiot.

Voges came out and started turning over the strike and kept the scoreboard ticking, jeez he made it look easy. And it was a pearler of a day at the Waca, cool breeze, sunshine the odd cloud, made me want to move back here. For about 20 minutes.

Tony Tea

Carrot, can't remember. The T. was a casualty of the chopping and changing from one computer to another.

They need a reality check. A 5-0 drubbing - a reverse McGrath, if you like - and a lengthy stay at the foot of the Test table would do the trick.

Call it rhetoric, colour and movement. Do I really think Aussie cricket would benefit from an extended stay at the bottom of the wazza? No. Do I really think they need a massive kick in the arse? Yes. Do I really think they will fall to the bottom? Ummmm, no.

Vindicate

I'm not sure the Windies form of the last 15 years can be attributed merely to falling to the bottom of the pile, their organisation at the top is a shambles and has been for at least that long. Ours isn't too crash hot either in terms of selection but at least our mob have enough organisational skills to make sure a stadium or pitch is prepared on time and suitable to play on.

Our lads need to have performance based pay the same as (most of) the rest of us, a little less time in the glossies and a bit more time in the nets wouldn't do them any harm either.

Tony

Both the West Indies and Australia got too used to winning, but the Aussie structure is (I think; fingers crossed) a more robust beastie than the Windies' structure. While all things WI have become a shambles, Australia should weather the storm, but is in for some short term pain. The phrase "suck it up, princesses" comes to mind.

Big Ramifications

WHAT is it supposed to mean?

Russ

A team has been released:
Cameron White (Captain), Tim Paine (Vice-Captain), Mark Cameron, Callum Ferguson, Peter George, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh (subject to fitness), Steve O’Keefe, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.

I'd prefer to see them play Australia (grudge match) than England (who'll now get a look at our potential test replacements). Not that I expect any replacements until Australia lose the first two tests.

Big Ramifications

You'd better get your head and your ass wired together, or I WILL take a giant shit on you.

Tony

Full Metal Biggy.

air yeezys

The thing that oneself like to grasping, strive for, no regrets!

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