June 25, 2010

Australian cricket

Weather man forecasts Australian Ashes win

Brydon Coverdale

It’s not quite as impressive as Paul the octopus predicting World Cup results, but meteorologists are already getting in on the act to tip the outcome of this year’s Ashes series. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia nearly always win the Ashes in summers when El Nino conditions have prevailed for the first half of the year.

Not since Bodyline have England claimed the urn in Australia after El Nino. The conditions bring lower than average rainfall across south-eastern Australia, which climate scientist Manoj Joshi believes helps dry out pitches to provide more bounce and spin.

On the other hand, Australia have won only five of 13 Ashes series after La Nina weather conditions. That means this year’s El Nino event might help Australia, although it depends on how quickly an expected La Nina comes along.

If that all sounds a bit too complicated, the alternative is simple. Just find an octopus who likes cricket.

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Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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