Investec Ashes 2013 June 28, 2013

England turn to power of poetry

ESPNcricinfo staff

As a weapon to defeat Australia, poetry does not spring immediately to mind. But that is what the ECB hopes will fill England with strength after the publication of a poem to mark the arrival of the Investec Ashes series.

We would like to know what you think of it.

Cricket has inspired a fair deal of poetry over the years. There is nothing more rose-tinted in the canon than Vitai Lampada by Sir Henry Newbolt in 1892 with his exhortation to 'Play up ! play up ! and play the game!'

#RISE has something for everyone.

Lord's will delight in the attention given to the honours board, no player can resist imagining himself with a set jaw and white knuckles and, as for the obsessive scorers among you, there is even a mention of dot balls. In an age of Twenty20, an homage to the dot ball is soothingly traditional.

The poem will take pride of place on the Trent Bridge programme when the Ashes begins on July 10.

We think it has a bit of Jerusalem about it, although even that is not entirely a good thing as Jerusalem tends to be removed from hymn books these days. But they will still be bashing it out in Nottingham on July 10 no doubt as England seek to fill Australia with trepidation


History will soon be made,
Upon the board,
Their honours engraved.
Nerves on edge, muscles tighten.
Jaws are set, knuckles whiten.
A dot ball passes, atmosphere heightens.
Those left standing: gods among titans.
They'll deliver the fight, session by session.
The nation's pride their only obsession.
For one. For all.
The bat.
The ball.
Old scores. New clashes.
Together we'll Rise
For The Urn.
The Ashes.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • suresh kumar on July 1, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    Other than aus, eng fans and other few commentators, who is going to care about this ashes. ODI is the real cricket which tests every cricketting phrase, where in test match eventually settled out for draw even when they need 30 odd runs from 10 overs. Enjoy yourself.

  • Prasanna on July 1, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy - i liked that remark - indians just can't do the spoilsport when it comes to Ashes !! They would always want to talk themselves up. Any ODI series won by them would be termed a terrific success !! And what if they get pushed out in the early stages - the tournament is a failure !! But wait, with they calling the shots nowadays, anything can happen.

  • Sean on June 30, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Ind v Pak bigger than the ashes? ahahahaha now ive heard it all.

    That irrelevant series shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence as the ashes. The best part of the ashes is, the Indians cant ruin it.

  • Rahul on June 29, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    No doubt second best series in the world after India Pakistan which is best ever

  • sunny on June 29, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Ashes has history,tradition attached to it.let the english and the aussies enjoy it.....but bottom line is that too many of the series has been one sided since i can a neutral its boring.......n the poem..superbore

  • ian on June 29, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: I'll be thoroughly predictable, just for you. No format cricket, including the WC, can match the Ashes for for intensity, history & tradition & means so much to the cricketing fraternity of two nations. That is just the way it is. No one outside England & Australia is required or expected to understand this, because it is part of the sporting heritage of two nations that share a unique history. The Ashes is in a separate category from all other cricket & no matter how large & glittering the trophies may be for other competitions, not one of them comes close to what that 11cm terra-cotta urn means to the two countries that began the concept of Test cricket. But, as I said, you have to be from England or Australia to understand all this. What anyone else 'thinks' is just irrelevant! (India & Pak may understand rivalry, but it seems that this is not, tragically, susceptible to expression in cricketing terms alone. Would that it were; the world would be a better place.)

  • Tom on June 29, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster as an Australian, I can't explain how much more thrilled I was that I Australia trounced England 5-0 in 06/07 than when we won the World Cup shortly after. The Ashes is what cricket is all about. And the poetry of it is top drawer.

  • Tim on June 29, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    My favourite cricket poem "when McDougall topped the score". Also got to love John Williamsons song about the 1989 ashes.

  • Murray on June 28, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    No doubt the Pommies are the better poets and always have been. The Barmy Army is often very amusing ( "All we are saying , is give Waugh a chance", "Why why why, Jessie Ryder ? " etc). Historically, CLEARLY superior to "Oi, Oi Oi! " !!!

    Pity for ECB it's always been about cricket not rhyme. (Wondering what they'll rhyme with Harris ?)