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The Gabba – Days 1, 2, 3


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


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...

England Can Win By Winning Over The Australian Public


I admit it. I’m not optimistic about England’s chances this winter. I’ve seen too many Ashes tours go wrong to expect anything less than a good kicking. However, I don’t think it’s a done deal. Australia aren’t particularly good either. The unexpected selections of Paine and Marsh show that their XI is somewhat in flux and their confidence might be a tad brittle. Because of this, I don’t think it...

Alastair Cook, Your Country Needs You


Occasionally an article lands in my inbox at exactly the right time. And this is one of them. I’ve long thought that Alastair Cook’s form would be absolutely in the Ashes. And I think, in many ways, he needs to have a good series to safeguard his legacy as an ostensibly great batsman.  Cook’s Ashes record really isn’t very good. In fact, if you take out that amazing series...

Australia’s Selection Meltdown: Are They Panicking Already?


Well, well, well. It seems that Australia’s selectors are just as barmy as England’s hopeless trio. The Aussies have made three controversial selections in their squad for the first test. Young Cameron Bancroft has come in for Matt Renshaw, old Tim Paine has come in for Nevill / Wade, and even older Shaun Marsh has been recalled ahead of Hilton Cartwright (who sounds a bit like an...

Ashes to Ashes, Stump to Stump


It’s time for a change of pace. So here’s Peter Jackson Eastwood, operating right arm over the top from the literary end. Eat your heart out, Dylan Thomas … Now as a Test Cricket purest, I don’t care much for the Big Bash, And as England prepare for the greatest of series, I fear they could be burned to Ash.   And yet I still cling to that morsel of hope, For we Englishman...

Who Will Score England’s Runs This Winter?


With Ben Stokes nursing a broken hand, a bruised ego, and a ruptured reputation, England might find themselves short of runs this winter. However, one unintended consequence of long batting line-ups is that individuals sometimes lose focus and don’t take responsibility for scoring big runs. Instead they assume that someone else will dig the team out of trouble somewhere along the line...

England’s Four-Year Cycle, Botched


The last time England toured Australia we were slight favourites. We’d just beaten them 3-0 at home, albeit not as convincingly as the score suggests, and we had a settled team with fond memories of their last Ashes tour. The spine of the team looked good: Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, a young Root, Prior, Swann, Broad and Anderson. A few of them were carrying some physical or mental baggage but...

Pull the other one – England’s Ashes injury hoodoos


Injuries. They’re the bane of the England cricket team’s existence. And every time there’s an Ashes tour down under things just go from bad to worse. Back in the 1990s England only seemed to have two players the Aussies worried about: Darren Gough and Graham Thorpe. Therefore it was odds on they’d both get injured either before or during the tour … thus making an impossible task even more...

Fantasy Cricket and Prediction Games


James Pope from Fanto and Matt Gisby have been in touch to tell us about games they’ve developed for The Ashes. I thought I’d pass on the details. James runs a fantasy league site and he’s put together an Ashes version you might be interested in. It works a bit like the fantasy games you see in the newspapers, but the fanto version looks a bit simpler to set up and monitor...

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