In around 12 hours time, the worlds biggest and highest profile game of cricket begins. The Ashes. Some think it a load off fuss over a tiny wooden pot, others think it the ultimate competition in word sport. At this very moment in time the 22 players who’ll be playing in the opening game will be either in bed or on their way. In 12 hour or so from now thousands of Northern Hemespherians such as myself will be up in the middle of the night, watching the proceedings unfold live from The Gabba – Brisbane’s colossal sports ground.
The last time we (England) played Australia on their turf was around this time in 2006. Myself and a bunch of what are now a die hard bunch England sofa cricket fans (although we do get to the odd game) literally got heavy jet lag from the nights of extended viewing. To add to our sleep deprived confusion, the scenes of live, blisteringly hot summer sun, in juxtaposition to the freezing cold nocturnal returns of England and the half a shandy or three made the whole thing quite surreal.
I’m hoping for a couple of things out of this test – one that I can survive the inverted time frames, sleep dep and jet lag (and learn from experience perhaps) and secondly, that we have a better result (we got clobbered, 5-0).
We are going into in looking quite good though, it’s got to be said. ABC reported yesterday that “Australia arguably now has a weaker side and stronger opponents”. It’s not like them to say that! I’m not going to make anything that looks like a prediction – for genuine fear of putting a hex on the whole thing but if team spirits were a barometer then, like I say – looking quite good. Looking towards the other camp – I’d say it’s in contrast to ours. Low on confidence – as reported by Michael Vaughan in a recent tweets – can’t be a good thing : “Not met one Aussie yet who thinks they are going to win….” and later “Never known a country to be so down on a team… Very strange”.
Well – we shall wait and see. Hopefully I’ll be able to stay awake long enough to find out how the first over goes tonight!