Five Reasons Why This Year’s Ashes is Such a Big Deal
Image Credit: Mark Kolbe / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images
The stakes are higher than ever in the 70th Ashes battle – and here’s why…
Weekend barbeques, sweltering heat, drowning in sunscreen and the sweet release of aircon – all staples of the classic Australian summer.
One thing missing from that list, which used to be a guarantee, is the sight of the boys in the baggy green lifting a tiny trophy in celebration as the nation goes cricket crazy.
Let’s go back and review that world we used to live in. From 1989 to 2005, the English didn’t even touch that precious little urn. That’s 17 years and 8 series of Aussie dominance.
Waugh, Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Ponting and co. dominated the 80s, 90s and 00s. Then came a shift in the balance of power. In the decade that followed, in five out of seven series, the cherished prize slipped out of our hands.
It’ll be the visitors who bring the historic pot to our shores his summer – and they will do anything to take it back. This 140-year-old rivalry is hotter than ever, so it’s time to reignite the great Australian tradition of teaching the English a cricketing lesson.
Here are five sizzling reasons why:
1. England have won once on Aussie soil in 30 years - we need to prove that was a one-off
Our home is a fortress. Even since 2005, there have been three series in Australia and two have ended in 5-0 whitewashes for the hosts. As it stands, England’s 3-1 win in 2011 was a glitch. Coach Darren Lehman and his team must keep it that way.
2. Over the all-time history of the Ashes - the scores are tied
Since 1877, Australia and England have locked horns in 69 series. Australia has won 32, England has won 32 and five have been tied. Whoever wins this series takes the overall lead in this age-old encounter. In a battle that spans back for generations, that’s a big deal.
3. After so many big names have moved on, it’s the current crop’s time to shine
Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson. All were huge players in the most recent Ashes series. All have moved on. It’s time for new household names to emerge.
The world’s number one ranked test batsman Steve Smith captains his first Ashes and ‘Smudge’ has destroyed all comers on home soil. Perhaps an unheralded star will carry the torch. If Australia can deliver, heroes will be made.
4. The Women’s Ashes raises the stakes even higher
The Southern Stars stunned the English by taking the Women’s Ashes from them on their own territory in July 2015. With the women’s game exploding in popularity in recent years, all eyes will be on this 83-year-old series which begins in October. The result could well set the tone for the summer.
5. The biggest reason of all - to keep those rowdy travelling fans quiet
The English Barmy Army travel in huge numbers – and they make a heck of a racket. If the likes of fast bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson get in their groove, the tourists will go off like a frog in a sock. If the unthinkable was to happen, we wouldn’t hear the last of it. The Fanatics need to make themselves heard early. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…. Oi… Oi… Oi!
The Ashes is broadcast live on Channel Nine and through the Cricket Australia Live app, with additional videos, news and highlights across those platforms and on Optus Sport.
All the Ashes info, times and dates can be found at Cricket Australia’s website