Ashes to Ashes

The Ashes - WACA test 2013

And so the Ashes have changed hands. It’s not taken all that long for the Aussies to regain them, but it has been 3 and a half series. It’s just that the series are now packed in tighter, and the next one is but 18 months away.

I went to sections of the first three days of the test that has just concluded, and as always an Ashes test was a great spectacle. The travelling fans from England add a touch of colour and humour to the occasion, and there’s history to be made. The tustle goes back to the 1870s, one of the longest running in sport. It’s the only cricket series to be played over 5 test matches these days, and for those of you from non cricketing backgrounds, each test is 5 days long. It’s a test alright. Especially in 40-degree heat as it was from the onset of this match. The sun has an extra bite once it gets up to that temperature, and does it day after day after day. Everything heats up. Whole houses heat up – the bricks emanate heat during the night. Concrete floors heat up. There is no respite.

I’ve been living in Perth since 1997 and have seen various England teams come here and get pulverised. This one was little different. The only time England has won a series down under during that time (2010/11) they still got smashed in the Perth test.

Watching Mitch Johnson tearing into two of England’s finest batsmen last Saturday afternoon was an awe inspiring sight. The sheer speed (150 kph+) and the guts it took to withstand the onslaught was incredible. Both batsmen got through it, but then tamely surrendered to lesser bowlers a few minutes later.

Australia thoroughly deserved to regain the Ashes urn today (the symbolic trophy that is fought over and means so much to each country). They held it from the Perth test of December 2006 through to the Oval test of September 2009. England had held it since, but today it was rested back from their grasp, and how.

Ashes history continues…

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