Monday, August 24, 2009

Is that it?


I bet Spaniards can hardly believe it. All the fuss that England and Australia make about winning this tiny little trophy.

For their benefit this is the Ashes, a minute urn which is fought for every two years.

The game of course is cricket and this is a test match series, generally of five matches of two innings each held alternately in either Australia or England.

This year the series was held in England. In the fifth match, England were ahead by 197 runs with a day to spare so they beat Australia by 2 matches to 1.

The last time England won was four years ago. Before that you have to go back 18 years to find an English victory.

Mind you, it doesn’t matter who wins, the trophy still stays in the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord's cricket ground in London. So winning is merely symbolic as far as the trophy is concerned.

Can you imagine if the local pigeon club presented such a tiny trophy – everyone would laugh. If you won it and didn't get to keep it - that would create outrage.

NB The Ashes series is named after a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, in 1882 after a match at The Oval in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The English media dubbed the next English tour to Australia (1882–83) as the quest to regain The Ashes.

Since the 1998–99 Ashes series, a Waterford Crystal representation of the Ashes urn has been presented to the winners of an Ashes series as the official trophy of that series.

PS For those who, like me, don't understand the game, cricket is just as quirky as that little trophy.


Man United Dave said...

Hello Keith. As much as cricket isn't top of my sporting list, it's still a sport and therefore I have an interest in it.

Although the trophy itself is very small, the current squad of England cricketers can say that they have beaten Australia and that they now 'hold' the Ashes. The actual trophy, is of course, comparatively unimportant. I don't think they will care whether they have won a trophy the size of the Champions League or a Subutteo tournament!! The fact that they won is the important thing.

I know you are posting your entries to your blog in jest, therefore I'd like to highlight that my response is also a little light hearted, but I thought it may be important to point out to some of the locals who read your blog, who maybe don't understand the relevance of this victory for English sport.

A very fine achievement indeed.

Pete said...

What is which you speak?