Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Raising the Ashes

Kudos to England's cricketers, who wrested The Ashes Urn from the dastardly Aussies. I was in Oxford for the start of the semi-annual clash in 2005, which England took in historic fashion, inasmuch as they had gone nearly two decades between Ashes wins. They then pissed it away the next time the two sides met the next year, getting humiliated by losing all five tests to the hosts. But this time they held firm, setting a nasty standard of 546 for the Aussies to chase. The visitors fell short by 197 runs and England rejoiced.


Anglo-Tex said...

There was also a small celebration in Midland in which a can of Fosters was consigned to the sewer and a bottle of Bass was raised in salute before also taking the same route.

dcat said...

Rule Brittania!
I so loathe Australian cricket and rugby (and surely will grow to loathe the "Socceroos") that it's easy to root against them, and then over the years I've come to like England cricket, though still not as much as South Africa.


Ronit said...

Congrats to England.

dcat - I'm not surprised you like South Africa, given your love of baseball. Back in the glory days of Hansie Cronje's captaincy, they were the only team applying Moneyball principles to cricket (I haven't kept up with them in recent years). They even hired some baseball fielding coaches because they calculated that tight fielding was equivalent to a significant number of extra runs per inning, something hardly anyone in cricket had paid attention to before them (in olden days, fielders were more worried about not getting their white flannel trousers dirty than saving runs). They brought a degree of athleticism and tactical intensity to the game that all other cricket teams have since tried to copy. They truly were the best One Day International team even though they never won a World Cup.

Ronit said...

Watching Jonty Rhodes field was one of the best sights in the entire world of sports.

dcat said...

Ronit --
I truly wish I could say that there was that much analysis that went into adopting South Africa. Basically, I lived there and continue to work on South Africa and so return yearly or more. As a result, I am a Springbok-Bafana Bafana-Proteas fan.
Of course I first became a fan during the Pollock, Cronje, Rhodes years, which also allowed me to develop an intense loathing for Shane Warne.
The biggest problem with rooting for the Proteas is that they are always unable to win the big one. In each of the last two World Cups there was a case to be made for SA going in as the favorites and, well, we know how that movie ended . . .


Ronit said...

They were also the best team in the 1999 Cup, with Klusener blasting away and easily being MVP for the tournament.

And it ended with utter heartbreak, as usual. Gibbs caught and then dropped Steve Waugh in the Super Six, allowing him to take Australia to victory in that game. Then they tied in the semifinal, with Allan Donald of all people getting run out on the last ball (Klusener was batting at the other end), and Australia went through because of their win in the Super Six game.

10 years ago, and it still makes me wince to think how close they came (if India is out of the tournament, I always root for SA).

dannybrit said...

Ive never been able to get into cricket or get excited about it.

the same with rugby.

it seems to me, whenever an england team wins a rugby or cricket trophy, all england citizens try and pretent we've won a football trophy instead. sadly, that has not happened for 43 years...
in my view, cricket and rugby victories are all warm up acts, before the big fail of our footballing hopes. hope it turns out different in 2010.