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Forget Ashes 2005

July 4, 2013

This is a guest post by Lee, from the land that gave us tea and crumpets 

Forget Ashes 2005 – this year is building up to something very special

After a whole summer of waiting and even having a moment where we feigned interest in tennis and Andy Murray’s latest quest to avoid crying tears of sorrow at Wimbledon, the 2013 Ashes is almost upon us.

Everyone seems to be gearing up for this wonderful event. Local parks up and down the country have witnessed entertaining cricket matches being played among mates, with Millet Sports stocking high-quality Newbery cricket bats so that it’s never too late to join in the fun. Even Sky Sports are transforming one of its permanent channels into Sky Sport Ashes – our TV planning for the next month or so is set then.

When it comes to the actual action on the field, we could be about to see one of the best Test series between England and Australia since the two countries decided to take cricket seriously.

 England backed by Aussie neighbours

The Three Lions have proved a force to be reckoned with on home turf over the past few months. We cheered with delight when Alastair Cook and company swept New Zealand aside in both Test matches of their home Test match series back in May.

Even when our joy of watching England strut their stuff was limited to One-Day Internationals at the ICC Champions Trophy, we still set the world on fire. Across England and Wales, we just kept on brushing aside the competition, whether it was a comprehensive 7 wicket victory over Sri Lanka or salivating about a 48-run win over the Aussies.

It was a shame that India sneaked the ICC Champions Trophy by a slender five runs, but it is fair to say that our rivals are already shaking in their boots as the Three Lions roar loud and proud.

In fact, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has been so impressed by Cook and his team that he has backed us to show his country’s neighbours a lesson in cricket in a couple of weeks time.

McCullum told Sky Sports: “I think England are going to be a tough team to beat. They seem to have got their swagger back against us in that final Test match. What we saw in that Test match is a team that when they are firing they are an incredibly tough team, not just to beat but to compete against.”

Australia finally showing signs of giving us a challenge

As much as we are dreaming of celebrating another England victory in the Ashes – we are thinking parties akin to what we saw at the end of the memorable 2005 Ashes – we are glad that Australia are finally beginning to show that they are up for a fight.

We didn’t want to kick our rivals while they were down, but our rivals for that sacred urn were in tatters just a few short weeks ago. Dumped out of the ICC Champions Trophy in the group stage and without winning a match was bad enough, but the fact that they haven’t been victorious in a Test match since January is just a tad embarrassing.

But then the tide seems to have suddenly turned. In a warm-up match against Somerset recently, Shane Watson hit 90 runs and captain Michael Clarke notched up another 45 in his comeback game.

Finally, the Three Lions might have a worthy opponent coming out to face them in Nottingham come July 10th – hey, victory will taste even better against an Australia team feeling confident rather than a bunch of Aussies licking their wounds.

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