Spycam

Alan Tyers goes behind the scenes

It's the Ashes. Again

The fun just never stops when it comes to cricket's premier contest

Alan Tyers

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A
Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting with a replica Ashes urn, Brisbane, November 24, 2010
Strauss and Ponting are locked in the fiercest battle of all: to see which one can keep from vomiting (into the helpfully provided drain) first © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links
Series/Tournaments: England tour of Australia
Teams: England

The ECB Vice President Of Fixture Organisation And Revenue Maximisation rose to his feet and called the meeting to order.

"Gentlemen and - of course - girlies who are joining us as part of the Richard Keys Memorial Media Training Internship. A warm welcome to key stakeholders from all the most important ECB departments: marketing, advertising, marketing of advertising, advertising of marketing, apparatchiks, wonks, technocrats, fixers, fiddlers, media buyers, media hangers-on, bookmakers and old men in blazers whose roles are uncertain."

"Has anybody invited a fans' representative?"

When the laughter had died down, he continued.

"Sorry, just a little joke there before we get down to the really serious business of scheduling The AshesTM around the ICC World Cup to ensure the fairest, most thrilling possible sporting contests."

More uproarious laughter.

"Ha, ha, no seriously, folks. Fellow committee members, we are here for the important matter of maximising possible revenue from the next The AshesTM: 2009 and 2010-2011 were both unforgettable series in the vital areas of television revenue, adverts from KFC and merchandising of little plastic souvenirs. And I am told the cricket was tolerable as well.

"But there are great challenges ahead. Cricket fans clearly have a great appetite for The AshesTM matches. The question we should be asking ourselves is not 'When can we schedule some more The AshesTM matches?' but 'Are there any days when we should not be scheduling them?'

"Looking at the calendar for the next few years, obviously the Royal Wedding is a no-no, in case Sir Mick Jagger or Stephen Fry has a diary clash and can't be photographed in the crowd at an The Ashes TM Test Match TM, and then there's the football European Championships. As we have stressed many times in the past, the future of cricket relies on attracting people who do not like cricket, and football fans are a key target. Obviously nobody could be expected to follow both sports at once. Best let the football boys - and girlies, of course! - do their thing.

"Other than that, we should be aiming to stage an The AshesTM Test MatchTM on every day of the calendar. I utterly reject the accusations of overkill. If I am sat at home enjoying a delicious TM Official Partner Fast Food Snack, like a KFC Chicken Nugget, do I have five or six and think, 'Well, that was a delicious bite-size snack that is really quite healthy as part of a controlled diet?' Of course not: I say to myself, 'I'm going to have another 48 of them and keep eating until I vomit up a kidney.'

"And now please all rise and join me in the singing of the Official ECB TM 2012, 2013 and 2014 Anthem 'Good Times Gonna Roll Again And Again And Again'."

RSS FeedWG Grace Ate My Pedalo, by Alan Tyers and Beach can be ordered here and here. All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 4 
Posted by   on (February 3, 2011, 11:13 GMT)

@surajchanda: perhaps you could name a more historic series which actually has a name for the trophy being played for?

great piece, as usual, Alan

Posted by surajchanda on (February 1, 2011, 2:06 GMT)

lol. Cricket's premier contest and Ashes in the same sentence made me laugh. Thanks for the chuckle Alan.

Posted by SagirParkar on (January 31, 2011, 21:52 GMT)

lol.. that is very funny Alan.. i liked the frequent use of the 'TM' sign... reminded me of how big corporate companies go on the trademark overkill.. somebody should trademark the 'TM' sign :P

also liked the comparison with the chicken nugget eating glutton.. by the way, KFC dont do chicken nuggets.. McDonalds do the Chicken McNuggets TM ;)

Posted by BilalSaleem on (January 31, 2011, 21:33 GMT)

I dont get the humor in this piece. i don't think the ashes is any more premier of a contest than any other series. Tbh i think that India vs Pakistan matches are way more tense. England and Australia may have a strong cricketing rivalry, But pakistan and india have fought wars. Cant get any more tense that that.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
RSS FeedAll
Alan Tyers
Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.

All Articles »

Alan TyersClose
Alan Tyers Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet