If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably aware that there’s an Ashes cricket series going on. As it happens England are doing rather well, and are crushing Australia, having won a close first test and smashing them in the second.
As part of a narrative of British (and Irish) success this summer, its pretty neat. The Lions, the Tour de France, Wimbeldon, the Ashes – a near unbroken summer of success that leaves me feeling slightly twitchy, as B&I success tends to be very short lived.
Which leads me to the meat of this blog. Do I believe this is part of a new (non football) paradigm, where B&I teams will dominate global sports for the foreseeable future? How does, in that appallingly cliched phrase, “make me feel”?
Well when it comes to Australia, I’m delighted. Their cricket team ground us into the dust for over a decade. It was brutal, efficient, soulless and deeply depressing. Unlike the previous cricketing hegemony of the West Indies, I didn’t ever want to be Waugh, Hayden, Warne or McGrath. I wanted them to break down and retire. I used to moan that they would have been destroyed by a prime Windies team.
I actually bought white sweatbands when I was a 14 year old fast bowler who idolised Curtley Ambrose. I tried to copy the way he cocked his wrist. I tried to copy his moody demeanour. This is silly. I’m not 6’6. I’m not black. I lack talent. But there was something about the Windies that made me love them, and miss them when they were gone.
Which means I am chuckling at the Aussies’ current travails. They seem to have fallen off a cliff. There’s no equivalents to Curtley and Courtney, Lara, Hooper or Chanderpaul – world class players that could occasionally rekindle hope. They’re just not very good. Not a bad bowling attack, but not as good as England’s. Poor limited overs influenced batting. Limited guts. Skittish selection. Corporate issues at the top.
I’m not bored yet. I want to smash them over this and the next series. I will snigger away as I have been listening to TMS. I’ll particularly love it if they get screwed in Australia.
The answer to the title question; you should love this. Because we all know it won’t last don’t we?