Bowled over

England’s performances during the Ashes series have seen interest in cricket as well as Channel 4 viewing figures soaring

  • spirit-level

    In a world of madness, cricket offers possibly the best form of relaxation, self-reflection and civilisation. It’s been a great series, with more to come. Never really been a great fan of football: which is ruined by money and big ego’s.
    Loving this test series. Suggest SF vs DUP would be a good cricket match. Anyone got some funny one-liners for this blog!

  • Wisden

    DUP have pulled stumps before the game’s even begun

  • The Beach Tree

    One – liners hmmm

    Well the most gentlemanly cricketer would be Cedric Wilson. Plays for anybody who’ll pick him, and always walks before he’s asked.

  • fair_deal

    SF vs DUP would be a good cricket match

    But where would you get acceptable umpires from?

  • Macswiney

    No Big ego’s in cricket then are there Spirit-Level? Shane Warne, Freddie Flintoff etc..etc… Personally I find your idea that a sport’s primary purposes should be “relaxation, self reflection and civilisation” both bizarre and contradictory to the true nature of sport itself. Ali’s great victories against Foreman and Frazier, the magic of Brazil in the 1970 world cup etc..etc.. had nothing to do with quiet meditation. Any game where a percentage of spectators can readily fall asleep aint worth watching I’m afraid…

  • spirit-level

    nicely bowled macswiney 🙂
    however I was making the point about the contrast between the madness of world ie. norn iron, middle east, terrorism etc: and the contemplative side of cricket. As Plato wrote “the unexamined life is not worth living”.

    If that don’t rock your boat try this spinner: This test series has been nothing short of electric, rivetting and passionate; kicking football off the back pages, and has had everything that the game has to offer. Don’t take my word for it, browse the newspapers.
    Far from being a sleepy yawn. Caught at silly mid-on I say.

  • Macswiney

    Dropped in the slips more-like Spirit-Level! These are the two top Test teams in the world. but what about those Monday afternoon County Championship matches in Canterbury and Hove? While football’s Premiership can generate high levels of ongoing excitement, cricket has only the occasional high (comparisons of attendances will easily back this up). I wonder how many will be watching Durham on the Monday following the final test? There will be 50,000+ at nearby St James Park – Guaranteed. Back of the net old chum!

  • The Beach Tree


    “On July 15, 2004, Middlesex vs. Surrey (the first Twenty20 game to be held at Lord’s) attracted a crowd of 26,500, “

    “On January 12, 2005, Australia’s first Twenty20 game was played at the WACA ground between the Western Warriors and the Victorian Bushrangers. It drew a sellout crowd of 20,700 “

    howzat !

    (finger raised, macswinney looks back at uprooted stump and shakes head, shambles towards pavillion)

    or, if you prefer

    Get Iinnn!

    (macswinney flaps at long crossed ball, net bulges, macswinney drops to his knees, chap with the board indicates immediate substitution followed by period in the youth reserves…)

    p.s. well done Ireland, almost through to finals of ICC intercontinental cup – (essentially test series competition for non-test countries) having come from nowhere to beat Scotland.

  • Menzies

    Have been more naturally a football fan all my life but over the past 3 years have really taken to cricket. The Ashes series has been absolutely superb entertainment.

    The pace has certainly increased dramatically in cricket in recent years which makes it much more exciting and appealing.

    It is also refreshing to see 2 patriotic, combative teams having a go at each other yet be able to do so while displaying respect, admiration and sportmanship towards one another.

    Also pleasing to see such commitment from 11 players on each team who aren’t spoilt brats like a lot of Premier league footballers.

    Am itching to have a game on cricket now, anyone game?!

    Come on England!

  • The Beach Tree

    “What knows he of Football, who only football knows…”

    As a culture we are absolutely spoiled with quality sport. And not just megabucks soccer fandom either, but many other well-known and lesser known events.

    It remains one of the great tragedies of the thatcher led, and blair followed education policies that competitive sport has continued to play a smaller and smaller part in the life of young people.

    Learning how to lose well, battle for a lost cause, and keep your dignity in defeat are lessons that would benefit so may young people today.

    But in our “everyone’s a winner, no more failure” world of today, kids don’t really learn the harsh truth until it’s too late, and then people are surprised when they are disaffected and ‘bad losers’ in life.

  • The Beach Tree

    I should also add that Ireland (and Scotland) have just been awarded Full One Day International Status. We should move heaven and earth to get a few games against England next summer – even one home and one away.

    As someone with a secret passion for Rugby League, I remember how important the England-Ireland 2000 Rugby League World Cup QF was in kick starting interest in a homegrown league (here) – which eventually helped lead to one of our very own – Cork’s Brian Carney of Dublin Blues and Wigan Warriors – turning professional and being accepted as the best RL winger in the world.

    I can only hope that Ed Joyce and others in the Irish Cricket world, far stronger than irish rugby league, can benefit likewise.