Ashes January 9, 2011

The dullest Ashes ever

And the BCCI's fetish for sand-based full-cranial immersion
36

Wednesday, January 5th Four walkovers and a stalemate. This has been the dullest Ashes series in living memory and still it goes on. I feel like a tourist whose long-awaited dream holiday has turned into a nightmare, trapped in a dingy hotel above a 24-hour Barmy Army karaoke bar, suffering from ear-ache and chronic disillusionment and counting the days until it is all over. It has been the triumph of the competent over the shambolic. England have done well, no doubt, but they play cricket like Oliver Cromwell might have done, if he hadn’t thought it the devil’s work. It’s been so dull that even Paul Collingwood has had enough.

And throughout, there has been the insistent drumbeat of patriotic bias, as welcome in the commentary booth as a nest of scorpions in your biscuit jar. Chief cheerleader is Ian Botham. Listening to his gratingly one-sided contributions is like being hit on the head repeatedly by a white and red inflatable hammer. When Phil Hughes half-heartedly claimed a catch today, Beefy exploded. Clearly, Hughes was a cheat. A lesser man might have reflected on some of the other examples of sharp practice in recent years, from the unorthodox use of Murray Mints in 2005 to Strauss’s “catch” at Lord’s in 2009. But not Beefy. This is the Ashes. It’s us and them. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. God Save the Queen! Pass the earplugs.

Thursday, January 6th The BCCI do not want to use the UDRS system and have refused an invitation to go and watch it in action in Australia, reminding us that sand-based full-cranial immersion remains as popular amongst sports administrators as it does in the ostrich community. Loathe it or tolerate it, UDRS has become part of the cricket experience. Watching the game without referrals, HotSpots, traffic lights and snickometers already seems an antiquated pastime, part of cricket’s yesteryear, like the days when TV companies couldn’t afford a camera at both ends and the viewer spent 50% of their time watching to see which way the batsman’s bottom moved.

So what’s the BCCI’s problem? The suggestion that they can’t afford it is entertaining, but not particularly credible. They have said that they have serious doubts about its accuracy, but that’s not the point. Accurate or not, if everyone else is using it, so should India. We need a level playing field of inaccuracy. Besides, lots of things that aren’t completely accurate are still an integral part of the game. Take Sreesanth for example. The poor chap was beside himself in Cape Town when a couple of appeals went against him. If you won’t embrace UDRS for any other reason, Mr Srinivasan, then do it for the sake of Sree’s blood pressure.

Friday, January 7th I read puzzling news from the Caribbean. Apparently, there is to be another Twenty20 competition in those parts, only six months after the last one. It is the kind of overkill that the ECB would be proud of. So who’s going to win this time?

“The Red Force is going to wipe everything away in front of them,” says Trinidad’s manager, Omar Khan.

“Last year we were accused of leaving coffee stains and isotonic energy drink spills in the Queen’s Park Oval canteen. So I have issued the players with rubber gloves and absorbent wipes and I can guarantee that the players will not leave the ground until all the work surfaces are spotless. As for the cricket, I expect that we will go out in the semi-finals again, but it doesn’t matter because everyone knows we are the best.”

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • andrew on January 31, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    how do your readers not know you are taking the piss??

    your next column should be about sarcasm, and how people can spot it in an article

  • desi on January 13, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    @Andrew Ramage, what makes you say "everyone outside India"? Indians in & outside India suspect the same ulterior motives behind BCCI's stance. We the fans are more than happy to use UDRS, it's just the BCCI administrators.

    "which way the batsman's bottom moved" was hilarious. LOL.

  • Rocky Valles on January 10, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Mr. Huges seems to be either an Oz or an Oz fan. His comments suggest that his problem lies not in the way the series was played but due to his suffering from ear-ache and chronic disillusionment and counting the days until it is all over as he backed the Oz to win. Calling such a well played and fought series to be duller than the recent whitewash is another indication of it. So Mr. Huges, if you want to really enjoy cricket get yourself treated for your mentioned ilnesses and before that your complaining mentality. Such comments may not affect you but will definitely bug the real cricket followers. Take care

  • Nick on January 10, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    Being an Indian, I don't understand BCCI's no UDRS use policy. The cup is NOT HALF EMPTY Mr. Srinivasan, it's half full. The UDRS is not a 100% accurate, ok agreed, but it does reduce the number of inaccuracies. This guy's going to be the president soon, there goes all hope of India using the UDRS. BCCI is going to bully world cricket and Chennai is going to bully the IPL. I bet Sninivasan sleeps well at night

  • anupam on January 10, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    If UDRS is the future, then BCCI should go with it. Ofcourse there are concerns with accuracy, inplementation etc etc. Unless and untill everyone participates, how will the system evolve? BCCI being "bully" in these days, should take this opportunity to contribute to the better of global cricket, apart from spending energy in the IPL and its issues. This will inprove its image and if they act responsibly they will get respect from everyone.

  • krazycric on January 10, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    Hahaha... "the viewer spent 50% of their time watching to see which way the batsman’s bottom moved" ....that line really cracked me up! Good article Mr. Hughes

  • Gandu Gupta on January 10, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Beefy rulz

  • Sri on January 10, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    I personally would like to see Indian matches involve UDRS. HotSpot, HawkEye, VirtualEye are great, not foolproof - but still preferable over a manual umpire.

    BCCI's umpteen reservations against UDRS in it's current form are not without merit. Please refer to the later section Sambit Bal's "Beware a self-absorbed India" also in cricinfo to understand BCCI's position.

  • KiwiPom on January 10, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    It may have been the dullest Ashes ever for some. That's something that's in the eye of the beholder. But I've just witnessed NZ v Pakistan and the gulf in standard between that and the Ashes games was, believe me, like the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico rolled into one.

  • John Muir on January 10, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Mr. Hughes, I can only assume you are drunk (still or again), Australian, joking or watching your first Ashes series. Those of us who are sober, English, serious about cricket or have been watching for a while (in my case since 1958/9) didn't find it dull at all. After having our noses rubbed in the dirt by Australia for 24 years, any series win would have been a cause for rejoicing. A resounding win was beyond our wildest dreams. Calling it dull is like calling a meal boring because all the courses were delicious. However, I do agree with you about Ian Botham. He had no clue as a captain and he has maintained his level of insight as a commentator.

  • andrew on January 31, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    how do your readers not know you are taking the piss??

    your next column should be about sarcasm, and how people can spot it in an article

  • desi on January 13, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    @Andrew Ramage, what makes you say "everyone outside India"? Indians in & outside India suspect the same ulterior motives behind BCCI's stance. We the fans are more than happy to use UDRS, it's just the BCCI administrators.

    "which way the batsman's bottom moved" was hilarious. LOL.

  • Rocky Valles on January 10, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Mr. Huges seems to be either an Oz or an Oz fan. His comments suggest that his problem lies not in the way the series was played but due to his suffering from ear-ache and chronic disillusionment and counting the days until it is all over as he backed the Oz to win. Calling such a well played and fought series to be duller than the recent whitewash is another indication of it. So Mr. Huges, if you want to really enjoy cricket get yourself treated for your mentioned ilnesses and before that your complaining mentality. Such comments may not affect you but will definitely bug the real cricket followers. Take care

  • Nick on January 10, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    Being an Indian, I don't understand BCCI's no UDRS use policy. The cup is NOT HALF EMPTY Mr. Srinivasan, it's half full. The UDRS is not a 100% accurate, ok agreed, but it does reduce the number of inaccuracies. This guy's going to be the president soon, there goes all hope of India using the UDRS. BCCI is going to bully world cricket and Chennai is going to bully the IPL. I bet Sninivasan sleeps well at night

  • anupam on January 10, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    If UDRS is the future, then BCCI should go with it. Ofcourse there are concerns with accuracy, inplementation etc etc. Unless and untill everyone participates, how will the system evolve? BCCI being "bully" in these days, should take this opportunity to contribute to the better of global cricket, apart from spending energy in the IPL and its issues. This will inprove its image and if they act responsibly they will get respect from everyone.

  • krazycric on January 10, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    Hahaha... "the viewer spent 50% of their time watching to see which way the batsman’s bottom moved" ....that line really cracked me up! Good article Mr. Hughes

  • Gandu Gupta on January 10, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Beefy rulz

  • Sri on January 10, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    I personally would like to see Indian matches involve UDRS. HotSpot, HawkEye, VirtualEye are great, not foolproof - but still preferable over a manual umpire.

    BCCI's umpteen reservations against UDRS in it's current form are not without merit. Please refer to the later section Sambit Bal's "Beware a self-absorbed India" also in cricinfo to understand BCCI's position.

  • KiwiPom on January 10, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    It may have been the dullest Ashes ever for some. That's something that's in the eye of the beholder. But I've just witnessed NZ v Pakistan and the gulf in standard between that and the Ashes games was, believe me, like the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico rolled into one.

  • John Muir on January 10, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Mr. Hughes, I can only assume you are drunk (still or again), Australian, joking or watching your first Ashes series. Those of us who are sober, English, serious about cricket or have been watching for a while (in my case since 1958/9) didn't find it dull at all. After having our noses rubbed in the dirt by Australia for 24 years, any series win would have been a cause for rejoicing. A resounding win was beyond our wildest dreams. Calling it dull is like calling a meal boring because all the courses were delicious. However, I do agree with you about Ian Botham. He had no clue as a captain and he has maintained his level of insight as a commentator.

  • Charu Khopkar on January 9, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    I take issue not with the accuracy or lack thereof the UDRS nor with the cost of using it but the propensity of those using it to challenge it when the decision goes against their team. To wit, Ricky Ponting berating first the umpire, Aleem Dar and when that didn't work, confronting Pietersen. Shades of the 2008 Sydney test against India!! All because HE was convinced that Pietersen had nicked the ball. Which raises the question, why have the technology at all if it can be questioned - and if that's done vigorously enough to bully the umpire into reversing his decision. It's application should respect the limits of the technology available and we also require some transparency on which technology , i.e. Snickometer, Hot Sport, Hawkeye are actually eligible for use by the third umpire to arrive at the decision. And finally, Ponting should have been suspended - but that's another story!!

  • James Robertson on January 9, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    Hey Andrew, if you think listening to Botham's bias was painful think again. Those of us down under were stuck with Ian Healy and co. The C9 team all had their "I'm an Aussie who supports Australia and did I tell you that I am an Aussie.." moment including Mark "Aussie" Nicholas who obviously sees this as being a key component to keeping his job as cricket's media frontman in Australia, but Ian Healy was something else. You would never have known that the guy had seen a game of cricket let alone played test cricket. Add mindless optimism in as we know dire straits for Australia, to one-eyed nonsense and there you have it, Ian Healy with a microphone in his hand in the commentary box.

  • Paul Hallett on January 9, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    Should listen to the Channel 9 commentary if you thought Beefy was bad; whilst his parochialism dpes tend to grate after a while, despite being caned, the Aussies would have a bash at every single thing we did. Get real son.

  • Geoff Schmidt on January 9, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    Very Simple, really. If India won't play to the same conditions as everyone else, tell them to go play with themselves.

  • John Hicks on January 9, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Good god, It wasn't anywhere near as dull as this article, Andrew.

  • Graham on January 9, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    Please be quiet Mr hughes, you are talking drivel

  • James H on January 9, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    YAWN

  • smallvizier on January 9, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    I remember raving to some colleagues about how awesome this Ashes series was, and how they really ought to try and follow it.

    That was on the fourth day of the first test - a topsy-turvy encounter where we'd looked sure to lose, yet fought back.

    Now at the end of the series... I'm glad we won, of course, but I wish there had been more days like that, with backs to the wall and not knowing how it would end.

  • Raj Nagarkatti on January 9, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    I could not disagree more, this Ashes was just as captivating as others with the exception of the 2005 series. I was up at stupid hours in England watching sessions, marvelling at the skill of James Anderson, Alistair Cook et al, displaying a cricketing masterclass. The level of interest online is testament to just how well England played and how Test Cricket is very much alive, well and thriving.

  • Irfan Masood on January 9, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    This is hilarious, the board that runs billon $ IPL does not have money for UDRS. This shows BCCI narrow mindedness on new technology. For test cricket to survive it needs every bit of technology to generate more result in matches. ICC should have never allowed two Indians to become chairman and chief executive at the same time. I think Indian control on ICC is really bad for cricket as a game.

  • Oliver Jones on January 9, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    Very funny read, particularly about Sreesanth's appealing. All very accurate too. As an Englishman who remembers when Ian Ward tried to survive the Aussie attack in 2001, I've suffered as much as the rest of the England fans. But I was bored with the Ashes throughout. The real contest was South Africa v India, but because certain companies cared more about Xavier smegging Docherty, no-one in England really paid attention to the fact Jacques Kallis showed he was superhuman. Andrew Hughes, you are a credit as a writer!

  • Vikas on January 9, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Interesting comments and thoughts. I enjoyed the read.

  • RANDY PERKINS on January 9, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    I think that due to the overall poor quality of players now playing test cricket, not only was the Ashes dull, but test cricket world wide is going through a rather benign stage. In the batting department, only Virendah Sehwag and Kevin Petersen are the batsmen left with the ability to fight fire with fire, to make people want to come to watch the game - though they are not as good as those super greats of the past who did it routinely - so you could imagine what happens when they fail in a series. The rest continue in their overly protective and monotonus sojourn to put you to sleep in the park. Nonetheless, the commentators have the audacity to say 'it was an exciting series'. Also, Dale Steyn while good, is no Thompson, Marshall, Lily, Imran, Kapil, Holding, Garner, Akram, Waqar, Donald, Mc Grath, Warne, Murali, Bond etc. And, I am not seeing any new player with the semblance of the ability of those greats who did it over and over again, much to our pleasure and entertainment.

  • Some guy on January 9, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    This has not been the dullest ashes series! The quality of the cricket was higher than any other that i can remember, and it put test cricket in a very good light. There were lots of high scores, but also lots of wickets and a lot of good bowling. You think that using murray mints is cheating? Alright, Botham was a bit out of line, but it was the heat of the moment. You're being ridiculously naive and narrow-minded! You should not be writing about a sport you obviously know nothing about!

  • John Doe on January 9, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    I too fully support that this is the dullest Ashes I've ever seen. Australia needs a complete revamp. Half the team should go. All the bowling coaches should go and the new ones should take a page from the llikes of Ambrose, Walsh, Flintoff, McGrath, etc for line, length and consistency. How many batsmen were actually caught behind the stumps area! Johnson is Australia's worst bowler. What was Smith's role in the team?. Is that all Australia (a continent) has to offer? I have doubts they can beat Bangladesh or Zimbabwe at this moment. All the old guys on the BCCI should be replaced with younger faces. This is the age of technology. Do you think the umpires decision on the field is more accurate than modern technology? UDRS shuld be used in all forms of cricket if the game has to be played fair. Don't they watch the NFL?

  • Sundar on January 9, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    "We need a level playing field of inaccuracy". Great!!! if every one else is incompetent, so should we be.. just to ensure a level playing field...

  • dave_67 on January 9, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    I take it you're being tongue-in-cheek? OK, this is an England team that's probably not as good as the media would have us believe,and yes,the reaction to winning in Australia after 24 years of hurt has been predictably hysterical. Of course there are plenty of fair weather cricket fans coming out of hibernation to tell us why cricket's so much more exciting than football - it's what we've come to expect from our success-starved and rapidly declining nation. Despite all this there's still no need to be quite such a spoil sport - we've had over 20 years of the Aussies ridiculing us and taking jingoism to new levels when it comes to their sporting prowess - I think Botham - and every other English fan - is entitled to enjoy the moment. Why is it that people like you are so determined to put the nation down after 3 landslide victories in a 5 test series? The Aussies have been thrashing us for years - are you telling me those one sided drubbings were more exciting than this series?

  • paul carew on January 9, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    No one ever said that any of Australia's series victories over the years were dull despite a few wins by an innings and victories in series against England that read from 1989, 4-0, 3-0, 4-1, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 4-1, 4-1. That is not exactly exciting cricket but no one said it was 'dull'. It just comes down to no one wanting to see England win, moaning when they don't and still moaning when they do.

  • farhad on January 9, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    It seems that australin team was totaly unable to handle the confident and strong minded English team. They lose three matches with a loss a one inning behing so Aus team managers should re establish their team they should ask from ricky abour his physical and mental health. major event is now going to start that is world cup and it seems that Aus team is no more interested in winning the occasion. best Regards,

  • Andrew Ramage on January 9, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    The dullest Ashes ever? Spoken as a true neutral, not an England fan. 99.9% of England fans have loved this test series and the out pouring of superlatives is a huge release of emotion and frustration from being walloped in every away Ashes series since 1987. Better than '66? I wasn't alive for that but as good as Munich 2001 when every goal, even the fifth was greeted with almost blood curdling joy. It takes years of pain to reveal the dark side of ones character!

    Spot on about UDRS, may I add that everyone outside India suspect ulterior motives from the BCCI regarding it's opposition towards it. More should be made of this.

  • Nitish on January 9, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    I would like to comment about the fact that BCCI is not interested in UDRS system.....If there is a system by which we can attain the most accurate result compared to other methods then not using that system is insane.It not only helps to achieve the most possible outcome but also saves the credibility of the sport.So I feel that BCCI should look into this closely and take the correct decision.

  • golden age on January 9, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Its easy to label England boring in this series with the run saving methods, but i bet Sehwag would have found a way round it, in fact Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh did. You talk as if It was a one-nil England win with Boycott opening and a 2 an over run rate.

  • Ian Hill on January 9, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    The UDRS is the best thing to happen to cricket since neutral umps and TV assistance for run outs. Whether it is accurate or not is not the point. It is an improvement and it is the indirect benefits which are proving to be most significant. To an extent it forces the PLAYERS to be their own judges and that is a good thing because in most cases, it is them that best know the truth. And this is why the Indians don't want it - it compels the players to be more honest.

  • Gooner33 on January 9, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    I guess I just don't really see the point of this article. It sounds like the whining of an 8 year old girl who has lost her brother and playmate to the TV while the cricket is on. Comments and opinions of Botham aside, few would deny the English (other than a bitter journalist) the right to celebrate such a comprehensive Ashes victory.

    May I suggest you choose another sport or past time to 'blog' about? It is neither healthy for you, nor enjoyable for us readers, to pen such hollow and irrelevant nonsense.

    I wish your pencil was like your article....pointless.

  • Sir_Freddie_Flintoff on January 9, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Talking about the commentary, have you ever heard the Channel Nine commentary team? Those so-called "legendary" commentators like Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell, Shane Warne, Ian Healy and Mark Taylor are the most biased commentators in the world. They keep trying to find ways for Australia to win from hopeless positions. Even after England took a 364 run lead in the Sydney test, some were suggesting Australia might have a chance of winning the game if they could somehow pile up 500 runs very quickly and then bowl England out for less than 100 within a session and a half.

  • Sir_Freddie_Flintoff on January 9, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    The dullest article ever from Andrew Hughes. I'm usually a great fan of yours. But this is the kind of article you write from time to time just to please your Indian readers.

    Yes, I know, criticizing your own country is quite fashionable these days, and it makes you feel like a liberal. But sometimes your articles just don't make sense. I remember in June 2009, when Australia were knocked out of the Twenty20 world cup from the first round, you said the Australian fans will have plenty to cheer about in the upcoming Ashes series, and predicted how England will be thrashed. But once the series started, and England went on to win the Ashes, you didn't write a damn thing about it. You pretended as if the Ashes didn't happen at all. That was quite pathetic.

    And now, you are calling this great England side boring after they HUMILIATED Australia in their own backyard. Do India play "exciting" Test cricket? Have you never seen the boring draws in Mohali that India produce year in year out?

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  • Sir_Freddie_Flintoff on January 9, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    The dullest article ever from Andrew Hughes. I'm usually a great fan of yours. But this is the kind of article you write from time to time just to please your Indian readers.

    Yes, I know, criticizing your own country is quite fashionable these days, and it makes you feel like a liberal. But sometimes your articles just don't make sense. I remember in June 2009, when Australia were knocked out of the Twenty20 world cup from the first round, you said the Australian fans will have plenty to cheer about in the upcoming Ashes series, and predicted how England will be thrashed. But once the series started, and England went on to win the Ashes, you didn't write a damn thing about it. You pretended as if the Ashes didn't happen at all. That was quite pathetic.

    And now, you are calling this great England side boring after they HUMILIATED Australia in their own backyard. Do India play "exciting" Test cricket? Have you never seen the boring draws in Mohali that India produce year in year out?

  • Sir_Freddie_Flintoff on January 9, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Talking about the commentary, have you ever heard the Channel Nine commentary team? Those so-called "legendary" commentators like Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell, Shane Warne, Ian Healy and Mark Taylor are the most biased commentators in the world. They keep trying to find ways for Australia to win from hopeless positions. Even after England took a 364 run lead in the Sydney test, some were suggesting Australia might have a chance of winning the game if they could somehow pile up 500 runs very quickly and then bowl England out for less than 100 within a session and a half.

  • Gooner33 on January 9, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    I guess I just don't really see the point of this article. It sounds like the whining of an 8 year old girl who has lost her brother and playmate to the TV while the cricket is on. Comments and opinions of Botham aside, few would deny the English (other than a bitter journalist) the right to celebrate such a comprehensive Ashes victory.

    May I suggest you choose another sport or past time to 'blog' about? It is neither healthy for you, nor enjoyable for us readers, to pen such hollow and irrelevant nonsense.

    I wish your pencil was like your article....pointless.

  • Ian Hill on January 9, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    The UDRS is the best thing to happen to cricket since neutral umps and TV assistance for run outs. Whether it is accurate or not is not the point. It is an improvement and it is the indirect benefits which are proving to be most significant. To an extent it forces the PLAYERS to be their own judges and that is a good thing because in most cases, it is them that best know the truth. And this is why the Indians don't want it - it compels the players to be more honest.

  • golden age on January 9, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Its easy to label England boring in this series with the run saving methods, but i bet Sehwag would have found a way round it, in fact Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh did. You talk as if It was a one-nil England win with Boycott opening and a 2 an over run rate.

  • Nitish on January 9, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    I would like to comment about the fact that BCCI is not interested in UDRS system.....If there is a system by which we can attain the most accurate result compared to other methods then not using that system is insane.It not only helps to achieve the most possible outcome but also saves the credibility of the sport.So I feel that BCCI should look into this closely and take the correct decision.

  • Andrew Ramage on January 9, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    The dullest Ashes ever? Spoken as a true neutral, not an England fan. 99.9% of England fans have loved this test series and the out pouring of superlatives is a huge release of emotion and frustration from being walloped in every away Ashes series since 1987. Better than '66? I wasn't alive for that but as good as Munich 2001 when every goal, even the fifth was greeted with almost blood curdling joy. It takes years of pain to reveal the dark side of ones character!

    Spot on about UDRS, may I add that everyone outside India suspect ulterior motives from the BCCI regarding it's opposition towards it. More should be made of this.

  • farhad on January 9, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    It seems that australin team was totaly unable to handle the confident and strong minded English team. They lose three matches with a loss a one inning behing so Aus team managers should re establish their team they should ask from ricky abour his physical and mental health. major event is now going to start that is world cup and it seems that Aus team is no more interested in winning the occasion. best Regards,

  • paul carew on January 9, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    No one ever said that any of Australia's series victories over the years were dull despite a few wins by an innings and victories in series against England that read from 1989, 4-0, 3-0, 4-1, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 4-1, 4-1. That is not exactly exciting cricket but no one said it was 'dull'. It just comes down to no one wanting to see England win, moaning when they don't and still moaning when they do.

  • dave_67 on January 9, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    I take it you're being tongue-in-cheek? OK, this is an England team that's probably not as good as the media would have us believe,and yes,the reaction to winning in Australia after 24 years of hurt has been predictably hysterical. Of course there are plenty of fair weather cricket fans coming out of hibernation to tell us why cricket's so much more exciting than football - it's what we've come to expect from our success-starved and rapidly declining nation. Despite all this there's still no need to be quite such a spoil sport - we've had over 20 years of the Aussies ridiculing us and taking jingoism to new levels when it comes to their sporting prowess - I think Botham - and every other English fan - is entitled to enjoy the moment. Why is it that people like you are so determined to put the nation down after 3 landslide victories in a 5 test series? The Aussies have been thrashing us for years - are you telling me those one sided drubbings were more exciting than this series?