Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

England close to retaining Ashes but eyes should be on bigger prize


CRICKET-ASHES/England moved closer to bringing the Ashes back from Australia for the first time in 24 years on Tuesday as they reduced the battered hosts to 169-6 at stumps on day three of the fourth test, needing just four more wickets to wrap up victory and still with a lead of 246.

In all likelihood England will require just three more wickets with Ryan Harris off the field with a stress fracture to his foot and unlikely to be forced to bat in such dire circumstances for the home side.

England would do well to remember that victory, assuming a miracle Australian fightback does not deny them, is a mere stepping stone to potentially greater achievements.

Firstly, the team will want to win the series outright in Sydney next week but more importantly England should have their eyes on becoming the best cricket team in the world.