CategoryAshes 17/18

Let’s Pour Cold Water Over This Duckett Farce

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If only Jimmy Anderson could duck it. Then we wouldn’t have to talk about Duckett. I make no apologies for the awful joke. This whole tour is rapidly becoming a bad joke. And I’m not referring to the behaviour of the England players – which seems pretty much in line with behaviour on previous tours – I’m referring to the ridiculous overreaction of the ECB every time an England player...

England’s Ashes Campaign: The Lamentable Truth

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If Australia had ever lost 0-5 in England there would’ve been uproar from Perth to Port Macquarie and from Darwin to Devonport. It would have been a national humiliation – the nadir of Australian sporting history. And they would’ve made sure that it never, ever, happened again. If only the ECB cared about the Ashes as much. We’ve been beaten 0-5 twice in the space of eight...

A Plea To Joe Root, Our (Potential) Saviour

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Oh Joe. What have you done? You’ve only gone and given us hope. You should know better than encouraging us. Now we all have to put up with blog posts like this one, which naively assume England are going to get close on day five … when in reality we’re going to lose our last six wickets in a flurry half an hour before lunch. At least we’ll have the memories though: the...

Adelaide

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Day Three Oh what could have been. England’s bowlers finally turned up on the third evening and proved what we knew all along: Australia’s batting is weak and contains several flawed batsmen. What a pity our own flawed batsmen had already effectively lost the game. Although we might take a little heart from reducing the Aussies to 53-4, and some pundits are talking about momentum...

One Watch Down. And Now My Next Watch Begins.

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One-nil down. Where do you go from there? If you happen to be the England cricket team in Australia, usually only further down. All the way, crashing through the basement into the hard earth beneath. For a short while, much like with the England Football team before a major tournament, I allowed myself to believe. Australia are not all that I thought. We were showing blemishes of form and...

Ben Stokes, Moral Dilemmas, and Fence-Sitting

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Much as bloggers like the sound of their own voice – and I definitely fall into this category myself – I don’t like making too many moral judgements. I wasn’t at that Bristol nightclub when Ben Stokes went a little crazy (I was safely tucked up in bed with a brandy and an episode of South Park), and I have no idea whether his actions were criminal or whether the bloke with...

Are England Dead Ducks?

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Everyone panic! We’re going to lose this five match series 6-0. Steve Smith is the new Bradman, Pat Cummins is the new Dennis Lillee, and Nathan Lyon is a genius who bowls hand grenades. In fact, we might as well raise the white flag now. England are the Frank Spencer of world cricket while Australia have the cunning of Carlos The Jackal and the strength of Hercules. Give me a break. In all...

Gabbatoired

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Sadly I can’t say I’m surprised. I thought we’d get rolled over for about 200 and so it proved. Australia’s bowlers are just too good. They have four genuinely world class performers. England have just the two. Like England’s attack in 2005 there’s never any let up in quality. If you get through Starc and Hazlewood then the next two bowlers are just as...

The Gabba – Days 1, 2, 3

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Day Three I don’t want to be negative, and I hate to say “I told you so” (especially as this game isn’t finished by a long shot), but day three showed us precisely why Australia were always favourites in this Ashes series. Both teams have fragile batting line-ups – everyone knows that – but the hosts have Steve Smith, the immovable object, and a bowling attack...

The Definitive TFT Writers’ Ashes Predictions

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So this is it. After weeks of build up the Ashes has finally arrived. It’s only a matter of hours until Joe Root wins the toss and inserts Australia on a featherbed after seeking advice from Nasser Hussain. Don’t laugh. It may actually happen. In the spirit of Ashes festivities we’ve come up with a definitive TFT Ashes prediction guide. I’ve spoken to all our contributors...

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