UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Left field:

English cricket celebrates a coming of age

CRICKET-ASHES/England's cricketers wrapped up a 3-1 series victory against Australia in Sydney on Friday and held aloft the little Ashes urn for the first time in 24 years on Australian soil.

They should enjoy the moment. It has been hard earned and a long time in coming. The taste of success will be sweet and should be savoured after so much hurt and torment at the hands of the great Australian sides of the last 20 years.

But England will do well to remember the steep fall from grace enjoyed by the national football team in 2001 after the 5-1 victory over Germany, the rugby team in 2003 after their World Cup win and their own Ashes triumph in 2005 which was followed by a 5-0 drubbing the next time.

English cricket BEWARE! “Keep off the moors. Stick to the roads,” to quote an American werewolf in London.

from Left field:

England are confident but will the Ashes dream go up in smoke again?

CRICKET-ASHES/With Australia's current cricket team seemingly keen on proving they can be just as hopeless as any cricket team England produced circa 1990-2000, what better time to go Down Under and watch England defend the Ashes?

I was meant to go four years ago after the epic 2005 series, only to pull out at the last minute and buy a house instead.

from Left field:

Can England win the Ashes Down Under?

CRICKET/England captain Andrew Strauss sounded confident when he said his side could not have prepared more thoroughly for their bid to retain the Ashes. The squad flew out to Perth on Friday with good reasons to be optimistic about returning from Australia with the famous urn, a feat last achieved by an England side in 1986-87.

Here I look at a few of those reasons to be cheerful, while below my colleague Pritha Sarkar considers why Australia may themselves be feeling confident.

from Left field:

Ill discipline costs England again

flintoffHeard the one about the English batsmen who just couldn't resist nibbling at balls way outside off stump? It is an all too common occurrence and is the main reason why England fell short of a good first innings total in the deciding Ashes test.

Of course, flashing away outside the off-stump isn't just a disease to afflict English batsmen, although the problem does appear to be more acute on these shores than any where else.