Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ashes to the ashes

The Ashes start this week. Ah, the Summer of 05, who could forget it? Flintoff, the captain, y'know the one with the pointy nose, the slightly tubby blonde chap, the bloke with the shaven head who did that reverse swing thing. Was Monty Panasar in the Ashes team?... yeah, probably. I was totally there with The Boys.

Inevitably, there's been a lot of hype surrounding the series, which has sparked a degree of interest deep inside me. Thing is, I've been told that Australia is a long way away, meaning they're a day ahead of us and have to play at night just to keep going.

You can follow the action on SKY throughout the night. But there can be few people who can reverse their lives to be on Australian time without actually being in Australia. Most people, like me, will probably watch the first over at about 11.30pm then go to bed upon realising that every advert break will be promoting a lateral thigh trainer. The actual TV watching nation will predominantly be men with a penchant for staying up all night who don't spend their time texting Babestation asking the models to do things that are strictly prohibited by OfCom. Only for the dedicated, then.

You could at least follow the action from the warmth of your bed on Radio Five Live and Radio 4 longwave. I'm not sure why both are covering it. Perhaps Radio Five do it in a regional accent. Failing that, you could request a text of the score from the BBC at a time convenient to you.

Or, you could watch the highlights the next evening on Sky or the BBC, but you'd have to wait a full twelve hours after the close of play. This is better than reading it in the papers who will be reporting the first day's play just as the second day's play is finishing.

It'll be an Ashes for the dedicated, those of us on the margins will be following from some considerable distance. Which, given that it's likely to end in pretty humiliating defeat, will allow us to claim that we never really cared about it in the first place.


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