OZ 2017, HERE WE GO AGAIN.
Well it’s that time again, after a long summer and busy autumn at work, the time has come to focus again on a few weeks away watching England, this time back in the old convict colony.
There will be many highs, but I guess a larger amount of lows on the pitch. I hope I’m totally wrong but only time will tell.
I’m only doing the first 2 Tests, Brisbane and then the day nighter in Adelaide. So, by the time I get home we will still have a chance of winning the series no matter how things have gone in the first 2 Tests.
I think this is about my 12th visit down under, the first one being back in 1988 when I was working and playing cricket for the Bank of England. A chance of a lifetime going to Australia I thought for this short fat lad from Somerset. Little did I know that 30 years later I would be returning for a 12th time.
On the way out to Oz we played at the Padang in Singapore which was amazing. Firstly, for the ground, in the middle of a roundabout with numerous crashes taking place throughout the game, secondly the wonderful old colonial pavilion and thirdly the strength sapping heat and humidity. The closest I’ve ever been to passing out on a cricket pitch.
From there we went to Brisbane, where Botham had been playing for Queensland before being sacked for being a naughty boy. Also back in 88 there was still the old greyhound track around the ground, a bit different from now!
Then onto Melbourne, can’t remember much of that, and then Sydney, the first view of the opera house and bridge was amazing, even better than the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Colston Hall in Bristol!
My first time for an Ashes tour was 2006/7, the ill-fated 5-0 thrashing. 3 months I was there, saved for 5 years to watch it and we were pants. Had to wait for 10 weeks for my first win in Hobart, and that was against the Kiwis so didn’t really count.
It was in Hobart though that I first met Midnight and thereafter many funny and great trips around the world with him started. I must admit I do love Tasmania and hopefully will get back there one day.
Despite the result I had the best of times in Oz that tour, made numerous friends and met up with loads of ex Aston Rowant players who had worked with me at Wormsley over the years or played cricket with me at Aston.
The next cricket tour was the 10/11 tour when we dicked them 3-1 with all our victories by an innings. Winning in Adelaide was great, losing in Perth wasn’t, had the wheels fallen off?
But then Boxing day at the G had to be the BEST DAY EVER for English cricket. Bowling the Aussies out for 98 and being 150 for 0 at the close of play. The Ashes were won on that one momentous day. I’ve seen some great days and wins by England but that was my best day by a country mile.
Finishing off by smashing them at Sydney was the icing on the cake. Mitchell Johnson getting a golden duck with the Barmy Army in full flow was just the funniest thing. Great tour.
Luckily for me at the last moment I decided not to do the last tour. Think I felt something in my water telling me it wasn’t going to be a good idea going
Now I know we lost a few years ago 5-0 but we actually played ok in a couple of Tests, but watching, listening and reading about it I’m SO glad I didn’t go. I feel sorry for those that did go because it must have been one of the worst series England have played in, in a long time.
Anyway, to now. To be meeting up again with the Addis Army boys will be great. I have a few other mates going out there who I will meet up with and also loads of old Aussie mates who I will be looking forward to sharing some of that horrible $hite beer with.
The cricket could be interesting. Both sides have some world class players, some players who probably shouldn’t be there and a few who probably should be there but aren’t playing like they should be there, You still following?
Our team is overshadowed by the Stokes fiasco. A few thoughts. Why was he out so late during a series? Why wasn’t he sent with a security person if they are allowed out so late just in case, it’s not like the ECB can’t afford it. He’s not been charged so why don’t the ECB give him a massive fine, strip him of the vice captaincy (for the time being) and send him out to Australia. If and when the police need to speak to him or charge him get him a ticket and fly him back. It’s only 24 hours away. Why doesn’t he take up boxing cos he looks like he might be quite handy?
So, after the early games, everyone’s getting a few, not enough, runs and taking a few wickets so it could be worse. A good win in the last game and hopefully a good performance in the last warm up game.
I’m thinking it may be:
COOK, STONEMAN, VINCE, ROOT, MALAN, BAIRSTOW, ALI, WOAKES, OVERTON (COME ON SOMERSET), BROAD, ANDERSON.
Possibly thinking they might play Crane for Overton if the pitches might help him but time will tell.
Scoreline: 2-2 fingers crossed.
Looking forward to meeting up with the Addis boys next week for more fun and frivolity.
Bring it on!!!
Ps shall I talk about the women’s Test match? Probably best not to as that may be more boring than the actual game!!