There has been a lot of “meh” on the Internet regarding the upcoming Ashes series – mostly revolving around the fact that Australia are in shambles, while England’s form of late can only be described as “a little better than mediocre.”
But I, for one, am excited.
And not because I am a fan of either side, or because the matches will be on Willow here in the states, but because it is a five-Test series, and we just never get those anymore.
The most recent five-Test series was England in Australia, 2010-2011, two and a half years ago. Before that it was Australia in England, summer of 2009, four years ago; and before that it England in the West Indies in late winter/early spring of 2009, four and a half years ago.
And those are the only five-Test series that have happened since I started following the sport in April of 2007 – three out of a total of 98.
Meanwhile, there have been 37 (!!) two-Test series.
And so I hope my more jaded readers allow me to geek out over the Ashes, because in my time as a cricket follower, the five Test series is a truly rare event, and one that should be paid attention to.
Five tests, 10 innings, 25 days…there is no more interesting or captivating event in sport. There are ebbs, flows, rising actions, falling actions, love stories, heroes, goats, villains…it is five, five-act Shakespearean plays spread out over six weeks, all linked together thematically and lyrically.
I can’t wait.
3 Replies to “The Ashes”
Just to let you know, the only reason that 2009 West Indies-England series was a 5-Test series is because one of the Tests got abandoned after 10 balls and they had to hastily arrange another one. It was originally meant to just be a 4-Test series.
how you do like willow? i thought about getting it for the back to back ashes, but i’ve heard it’s impossible to cancel (which i might not do anyway). the quality of their youtube vids is good, but if i’m paying i hope it’s better haha.
do you really like it, or are you just stuck with it?
here’s hoping ESPN takes over and we get it all on espn3!
2 Test series are a pointless aberration on the game. For me, I’d have each nation tour one country a year, allowing both sides to build up a familiarity with one another in a longer series and re-creating the idea of a ‘tour’, and creating a bit of room in the calendar for more limited overs tournaments in between (uncontextualised ODI/T20 series are the most pointless thing in cricket). I don’t know what to make of the two back-to-back Ashes series though.