June 20, 2012

English cricket

Why have ten Ashes Tests next year?

Carlyle Laurie

Scyld Berry, writing in the Daily Telegraph, says that the decision to stage ten Ashes Tests next year has cheapened the last sacred thing in cricket.

Back-to-back Ashes series were staged just after the First World War, with justification. People were gagging for peacetime activities, for some sense of normality to be restored. Now we are talking about plain commercial greed. A hundred years ago or now, however tastes and attention-spans may change, a four-year cycle is best. So while decoupling Ashes winters from World Cups is part of the truth, a much larger element of it is that English and Australian administrators wanted to pack another Ashes series into the Future Tours Program and increase the money they can get from their broadcasting deals.

K C Vijaya Kumar, writing in the Sportstar, says that England must conquer the sub-continent if it wants to truly lay claim to its credentials of being a domineering team.

In the months leading to stamping its authority against the West Indies, England found enormous stumbling blocks in Asia's heat and turgid pitches. A trip to the Middle-East proved more to be a walk in the scalding desert sands rather than the expected jaunt like breezing through the Dubai Shopping Festival. The sub-continent has to be nailed if England can truly lay claim to its credentials of being a domineering team.

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