I was happily floating up and down the Henley Regatta Course as the fifth day of the Lord’s Ashes Test played out. Of course I had my buds in and was following events but the distractions of rowing and the perils of navigation kept me from getting sucked into the action.
Carey throws down the stumps
Stuart Broad told the Australian wicket keeper “you will always be remembered for this”. As a very poor wicket keeper I know the temptation to throw down the stumps, with or without giving the batsman a warning for straying out of the crease.
Most keepers are tempted but don’t because they know they will be regarded as a cricketing pariah, not just by their opposition but by their own team “it’s just not cricket”.
But our interpretation of the game of cricket has taken a different turn in the past five years, not least with the arrival of Baz-Ball and the emergence of IPL as the predominate cricketing competition in the world.
If Australia greatest contribution to make test cricket great again is from their unflinching determination to win (rather than just “entertain”).
This determination has left England 0-2 down at home in a series where they arrived on one of their best runs in recent times.
I admire Cummings & Co for not showing the slightest compunction about taking Johnny Bairstow’s wicket as Carey did.
It is undoubtedly good for the game that Australia approach it in a different way than us pub-cricketers and this England Baz-ball team should wake up and smell the coffee.
From WG Grace , through Bodyline to the antics of Sidebottom against New Zealand, England have always had a nasty side.
At the start of this test, the English team were behaving like pub cricketers , taking on the short-ball despite not being good enough to get it the boundary. They wanted to be mates with the Australians and Carey , Cummings & Co told them what they thought about that.
England will not now be sharing a drink with this Australian side any time soon!
Ashes series involve cricket but a whole lot more. If you’re in the Hollies or in the Lord’s Tavern Stand, you are in the business of pantomime, where your opponents are villains and your team heroes, it’s the other way round but the same in Australia. Panto maybe – but we all have Australian friends – there will be some serious joshing around town in the next couple of weeks.
We have three matches to go and a great series has just got greater. If we carry on playing like we’ve done , we will continue to lose. But Ben Stokes showed what can be done. COME ON ENGLAND!
It’s just cricket – but what game!
It’s just cricket, but it can take your breath away while out at the rowing, Yesterday I was loving both! Thanks Australia and England for reminding us just what sport can do.