So To The Ashes

On 8th July, weather permitting of course, the Ashes will commence. The venue for the first match is the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff, host of the opening salvo in 2009, and famous for England wriggling off the hook to draw the match. In the run-up to the 1st Test, and if we can keep the momentum, hopefully beyond that, we (Vian and I)would like to make the blog even more interactive than it is now.

I know the Ashes are being milked to death, but there is still that energy behind it that even the clowns running the game can’t kill. They’ll have a damn good go, though.

I’ve been trailing some of the stuff already, including a mutual Q&A session with Dennis Freedman of Dennis Does Cricket fame. He’s suitably “honest” in his appraisal of the series coming up.

I’d also be interested if any of you would like to be on an “Ashes Panel” before and after each match to answer some questions posed by your genial hosts. I’ll also do some personal stuff on Ashes matches I’ve attended, or watched on TV.

We may not like the fact it is 18 months since the last series, but the blog is here to cover cricket, and that’s what we need to do.

By way of a starter, and we’ve done this before on a previous blog, I have five questions for you to answer to (re) introduce yourselves to the braying public that populate our comments section. No compulsion, but it would be great if you could fill this in:

1. Commenter Name / Location (we have some odd ones register on our location page)
2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here?
3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting)
4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero.
5. Your Ashes series prediction.

If you’d like to appear on the forum e-mail me at dmitriold@hotmail.co.uk . Would love it if you could take part, as I think it would stimulate huge debate, which is what both TLG and I want, believe it or not.

Have a great day everyone.

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43 thoughts on “So To The Ashes

  1. Dennis Does Cricket (@DennisCricket_) Jun 24, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location – Dennis Freedman (Melbourne Aus)
    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here? – It’s honest and the tribe is rabid.
    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of – Whatever comes to you. We are here because of what it is now.
    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero. – Graeme Swann 2013.
    5. Your Ashes series prediction. – We will get sick of seeing the #BringBackKP hashtag

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike Jun 24, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location Mike Carrington, London although have been known to log on whilst on holiday, this year so far Japan, Hong Kong, Hamburg, Krakow
    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here? Honesty, engaged comments, a willingness to listen both sides and admit mistakes as and when
    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting): Keep doing what you guys are doing, its my first port of call for cricketing opinion
    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero: Strauss in 2005, Swann in 2013
    5. Your Ashes series prediction: 3-0 Aus…

    Like

  3. Arron Wright Jun 24, 2015 / 1:09 pm

    1. Arron Wright (not a nom de blog, though NonOxbridgeColumnist is)

    2. Wow. Could write an essay. In short, disillusionment with English/world cricket and the way it is reported by the press. By way of elaboration, this process began for me in the summer of 2012. The downgrading of the Test series v SA and introduction of a five-match ODI series v Aus not connected to a Test tour made it starkly obvious what the ECB’s priorities were. It was as clear to me as Stanford had been. It was a blatant harbinger of what became the ICC Big Three stitch-up in January 2014. But it was largely ignored in favour of trashing Kevin Pietersen. By the time the same thing happened on a larger scale in early 2014, I had lost patience, googled “press coverage of cricket” one night and found Dmitri’s old site, which had been covering these issues over a long period of time. I am still here because the press, on the whole, hasn’t improved or learned a damned thing, in spite of the fact that there is another disconnected ODI series v Australia in 2018 *and* we play an Ashes straight after a World Cup in 2019, so the ECB’s ostensible reasons for messing up the schedule stink of bullshit.

    Another key factor is that far too many have become transparent England cheerleaders and allowed personal bias to colour their writing (See Cricketer, The), and this has happened at more or less precisely the same time I have fallen completely out of love with the England cricket set-up and become far more concerned about the world game in general. To sum up, here’s an attitude that would be welcome in the MSM, may well have been front and centre 15-20 years ago, but now seems to be confined to the intellectual fringe:

    3. More articles that help show the sceptics how much we actually love cricket. For example, the one Dmitri wrote about why he loved Pietersen that went viral. This could be done for other fondly-remembered cricketers, even including Andrew Strauss. Or pieces that fight against the “memory hole” tendency of recent cricket writing: anything from Stanford and Giles Clarke to proper statistical analysis that destroys tedious canards about certain players and coaches.

    4. Tim Robinson and Richard Ellison, 1985. And Allan Lamb’s boot.

    5. Australia 3-1

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Jun 24, 2015 / 1:12 pm

      Forgot my location: South East Derbyshire or Sheffield.

      Like

    • paulewart Jun 24, 2015 / 6:08 pm

      Love you’re no4 Arron!

      Like

  4. OscarDaBosca Jun 24, 2015 / 1:38 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location – OscarDaBosca (Nom de Blog – actually Andy Cronk) – Bristol
    2a. What brought me here – #KPGate someone BTL on the Guardian during this period linked to HDWLIA and suddenly I felt that I wasn’t alone in thinking that the MSM were ignoring a whitewash and concentrating on a straw-man who clearly wasn’t solely responsible for said whitewash.
    2b. What keeps me here – I love the writing and the honesty. I may not agree with everything said, but the inherent passion for cricket is plain to see and what keeps me checking my email for new posts daily.
    3. Would second Arron above, but also a 5-for watch similar to century watch. I love the stats and would be interested to see if you could replicate this with bowling stats.
    4. Paul Collingwood (not really unsung but he is my one of my all-time favourite cricketers). I believe that he brought harmony to the dressing room, and he is the only English World Cup (T20) winning captain.
    5. My heart says 2-1 England (draw in Cardiff, loss at Lords, win at Edgbaston, win at Trent Bridge, draw at the Oval). Head says 3-2 Australia (loss at Lords and Cardiff, wins at Trent Bridget and Edgbaston, loss at the Oval).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. metatone Jun 24, 2015 / 4:15 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location (we have some odd ones register on our location page)

    Metatone – nom de blog only for today – I could post about cricket under my real name, but I’d still want to keep that separate from the nom de commenting, as there are years of arguments on t’internet under that name.

    I now live in London, but a small piece of my cricketing heart will always be at Headingley.

    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here?

    What brought me to HDWLIA? The last series Down Under. It was painfully apparent to me ahead of time that we were in a bad way and likely to lose, but my previous cricketing home (The G) couldn’t see it. Alongside a particularly condescending response from a particular writer (who had previously been a rational discusser when coming BTL) about the England camp and injuries set me googling for somewhere more able to see through the ECB PR.

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting)

    I’m awaiting more thoughts from TLG about grassroots cricket with keen interest. I’d be happy to have more discussions about technique, strategy and tactics too when there aren’t games to write about. (If I ever get time I’ll write about a 25 year perspective on England’s bowling to submit for your consideration.)

    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero.

    Two bowlers who weren’t unsung at the time, but more and more we now remember only their later failures. Harmison and Tremlett. Each in their pomp were that a rare thing – an actually intimidating England bowler.

    5. Your Ashes series prediction.

    2-1 to the Aussies. I’d guess England will win at Trent Bridge. Rolling the dice, one game is going to be a rain-draw, I’m guessing Edgbaston, and I think England will maybe manage a draw in Cardiff. Aussie bowling will show it’s quality at Lords and the Oval I’d guess.

    A lot depends on the weather – England’s attack is woefully dependent on friendly conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • keyserchris Jun 24, 2015 / 5:56 pm

      I’m up for it

      Like

  6. pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 24, 2015 / 5:33 pm

    1. PK Troll (I would prefer to keep my anonymity for the time being thanks! Location: London

    2) I was aware of How Did We Lose in Adelaide for a year or so before I actually came here and to my regret I didn’t comment before the meltdown as I felt that the views of Dmitri were highly refreshing compared to other places that I frequented. Anyway the ECB meltdown occurred and I couldn’t help feeling that I was amongst kindred spirits. I smelt a rat over their counter revolution and to be honest we’ve largely been proven right. I enjoy the intelligence and wit of the posters here and thus keep coming back. I am a moderator of a cricket discussion board elsewhere in another guise.

    3.I think I would like to see the opinions on posters on how they got to follow cricket. Their earliest influences, the earliest games they went to and what excited them most. I’m more than happy to give my own and believe I could make it a fine story.

    4.Graham Dilley. He was at the other end of the Botham knock at Headingley’81 and was a fairly vital cog of the ’86-7 win in Australia.

    5 3-1 Aussies. Their bowling will be too strong for England. Perhaps the silver lining might be the easing out of one or two old stagers from the side and then we’ll get the makeover that we really need.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. andyinbrum Jun 24, 2015 / 5:36 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location

    Andy /in Brum

    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here?

    That someone else felt the same way about the Kp clusterfuck as me, you still write what I want to but can’t

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting)

    Boobs

    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero.

    KP, seems to have been whitewashed from official history.

    5. Your Ashes series prediction.

    A close 3-1 to Aus, but could see 3-1 to England as well. Aus’s bowling is very good, but their batting just feels weak.
    England aren’t bad, but cook’s captaincy will be what lets us down

    Liked by 2 people

  8. keyserchris Jun 24, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location – keyserchris, Oxfordshire
    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here? – I came for the KP palaver, but stayed for Outside Cricket
    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting) – I like century watch (though that is performance dependent!). I like the pics in your archive (I’m in the very distant background of one or two of your Adelaide 06 ones…)
    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero. Unsung heroes for me were Thorpe, Hussey, Collingwood, players of that ilk
    5. Your Ashes series prediction. 2-1 Australia

    Like

  9. cricketjon Jun 24, 2015 / 6:28 pm

    1, Cricketjon, London by day, West Midlands by night
    2, Had read the Adelaide 2006 blog some years ago and was understandably magnetised towards Outside Cricket when…well when Outside Cricket became a line in the sand for the ECB/SKY/MSM journos/women like Alice versus the people who love the game and pay to watch it either behind a paywall or at the grounds
    3, I would like to see more of the same please which is excellent critical reasoning that the MSM simply cannot cope with
    4, Darren Gough. An oasis in a desert of 1990s England players, he would fitness permitting have made it into their side in 1994/5 and 1998/9 but less likely in 1997.
    5, 3-2 to Australia if the weather holds sadly but not because they are better than us but because Cook will bottle the key captaincy moments

    Liked by 1 person

  10. cricketjon Jun 24, 2015 / 6:30 pm

    I’m up for panel volunteer

    Like

  11. dvyk Jun 24, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    1. Commenter Name
    I used to comment at the Gu under the above pseudo-letters, so I brought them all here with me. (I have a wordpress act under a different name also with a Y and a K, and that shows up when I “like” a comment, in case you’re wondering who that guy is who likes but never says anything!)

    / Location
    Berlin, Germany. After 15 years in Germany, I feel more German than Australian. I am not especially patriotic with regard to cricket — I am happy to see any team at all play good, aggressive and successful cricket…. against England.

    2. What brought you here,
    Getting placed on permanent comment moderation at the Gu by Mike Selvey or a minion carrying out ECB orders. I never said anything even remotely close to violating their comment policy.

    and what keeps you here?
    The quality both of the articles and the discussion in the comments.

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of
    Highly detailed vitriolic attacks on fawning yellow journalists. Holy heck do those guys deserve to get their metaphorical arses metaphorically kicked.

    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by?
    Monty Panesar, Cardiff 2009. And the way history is being rewritten, I should probably add KP 2005.

    5. Your Ashes series prediction.
    If anyone wins Test 1, they will win the series. If it’s a draw, the earth will be invaded by aliens.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. man in a barrel Jun 24, 2015 / 6:47 pm

    It seems to have got lost again…so another try. If 3 versions appear, kindly delete 2, Mr Moderator.

    1. Commenter Name / Location (we have some odd ones register on our location page) – Man in a barrel from Herts…sometimes from LA, Oregon, France, Spain and Netherlands

    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here? After the Ashes whitewash of 2013/14, I could not believe that we would sack our finest batsman and that the press seemed to lack curiosity about it. And then they seemed to applaud the retention of a captain who had shown himself to be incapable of inspiring his team and who lacked tactical awareness. Previous captains in whitewash series such as Gower, Botham, JWHT Douglas never received such treatment. The gradual decline of press,TV and radio commentators into blatant cheer-leaders for a mediocre team and an inept captain was just totally infuriating. On the BBC, the commentators never used to talk of “we” and “our team”. It was a great relief to find blogs such as this and TFT where there is far more objectivity and intelligence and where people only use dim-witted nicknames such as Belly, Trotty, Swanny and Broady to take the piss out of the idiots in the MSM.

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting) Just keep it going as you want. I like the looks back at old cricket books and the stat stuff. just keep calling it as you see it, giving credit where it is due.

    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero. Old Trafford 1986, Edmonds got Border stumped (by Downton) for 8 after he ran madly down the track and swished at the ball. An uncharacteristic Border dismissal but Edmonds seemed to have him on toast that series. Going back into history, Eddie Paynter who played 7 Ashes tests between 1932 and 1938 and was left out in 1934 and 1936/7 because Gubby Allen reckoned he was unsound against pace bowling, of which Australia had none at the time. His average against Australia was 84.42, even higher than his overall average. He must have been some player.

    5. Your Ashes series prediction. I reckon Australia will win 3 and England might squeak one, if the bowling can come together and the ball moves. Rain might come along to save England from humiliation on a few occasions.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ian Jun 24, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    1. Commenter Name Ian Location Slough
    2. Used to read HDWLIA
    3. Be honest – Happy as it is.
    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? Alan Mullally sledging Glenn McGrath at the MCG
    5. Your Ashes series prediction. 3-1 to Australia

    Like

  14. paulewart Jun 24, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location – Paul Ewart (Finland)
    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here? – Disillusionment with the MSM following the Ashes debacle. Like others here I followed a link to your previous site having grown thoroughly disillusioned with The Guardian”s uncritical, nay, sycophantic line on all things cricket/Establishment related. Selvey’s role in the KP banishment remains unforgivable. He and Matt Prior are Squealers to Flower and Cook’s Napoleon.

    I enjoy the scepticism abroad here. Orwell wrote that sport is war by other mean, replace war with cultural politics. English cricket feels a metonym for wider issues, a kind of state of the nation allegory being played out in our national and social media and overpriced grounds. It feels as though the establishment culture that was briefly done away with, or at least disguised, during the 1960s and 70s. Britain, or, more cogently, England, is reasserting itself. I see this manifested in the uncritical and mean-spirited comments in the media (increasingly an entitled/rump echo chamber) and the return to a ‘Gentleman v Players’ culture. We see that in our national cricket team and our TV screens: whither the new Bob Hoskins, Terrence Stamp or Michael Caine? I’m writing on this subject at the moment and enjoy the pieces and comments here. I particularly enjoyed Dmitri’s recent post, (was it ‘Bruised’?) that ended with his recalling his playing cricket in the street. There are lots and lots of people feeling the way you do Dmitri. This is really good stuff.
    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of – Good as it is. Given Vian’s successful incorporation, perhaps a few more writers? Having said that, its your baby and incorporating other voices without an editorial line is tricky and time consuming. More archives, perhaps, looking back to previous series.
    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero. – Richard Ellison’s a good shout, Mike Brearley in 1981, Gower in 1985, Botham, Gladstone Small and Jack Richards in 1987, Chris Cowdrey :-). Just about everyone in 2005.
    5. Your Ashes series prediction. – I’d have predicted an Aussie whitewash before the one day series (and I’d have felt it merited), I’m less certain now. 3-0 to the Aussies with a couple of rain affected draws. Had they the courage to sack an incompetent captain it’d be closer,

    Re the panel, I’d be interested but am likely to be sans internet in July.

    Liked by 1 person

    • man in a barrel Jun 24, 2015 / 9:11 pm

      Interesting social history. It seems to be a recurring pattern. From my post about the Establishment not taking Paynter to Australia in 1936 because of a suspected weakness against pace, the major Aussie bowler was the spinner O’Reilly, known to be not quite so effective against left – handers. It’s hard to fathom the reasoning unless you look at sociological concerns… Was the class mix of the team OK.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lezza44 Jun 25, 2015 / 11:24 pm

      This is a terrific post reeking of an academic background – who are you?

      Like

      • paulewart Jun 26, 2015 / 8:56 am

        Don’t know if this is a response to me or Man in a Barrel, If me, the clue is in the name 🙂

        Like

  15. Ed Jun 24, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    1: Ed/Winchester
    2: Followed a link from TFT to HDWLIA and stayed because I agreed with most of the sentiments, the content and dicsussions were always interesting and Dimitri was much better at putting it across than I ever could be.
    3: Maybe with a bit more about the county game? Mostly just more of the same.
    4: Darren Gough, I remember listening to his 50 in the 94(?) Ashes
    5: I’ve got a horrible feeling their bowlers will take us to pieces but there’s always that tiny bit of hope that keeps lurking in the background…

    Like

  16. LordCanisLupus Jun 24, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    In another world we have five reasons to be cheerful for the Ashes:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-3137555/Five-reasons-England-cheerful-Ashes-against-old-enemy-Australia.html

    1. ODI form (we beat New Zealand, Aussie won the World Cup…..)
    2. Aussie is old, but then again, our main strike bowlers are knackered
    3. Aussies haven’t won here (five of the top 6 batsmen in our 2010/11 team had been in the whitewash of 2006/7 – so follow the logic…)
    4. Mitchell Johnson had a bad 2009 series. Well, he had a crap 2010/11 one in the main and yet seemed to recover nicely.
    5. A coach no-one has a f*cking scooby about if truth be told.

    Click bait and I bit.

    Like

    • Arron Wright Jun 24, 2015 / 9:32 pm

      Crikey! It’s just like 2005 again, you know! You know, how we’d been unbeaten in a Test series in more than eighteen months, unbeaten in Test matches throughout the preceding calendar year, had a Test record of W 14 L 1 D 3 over the previous year and a half, had recently completed our first five-Test away series win in two decades, had just found an extraordinary batsman who was averaging over 100 in ODIs and had made three hundreds and a match-winning 91* in his last six ODI innings, our most experienced batsman was averaging 60-odd since his recall, our openers were settled and averaging over 50 together, both making plenty of recent hundreds, and we had an all-rounder averaging 40 with the bat and 28 with the ball over the last two years.

      People invoke 2005 without apparently having the slightest clue how good that England side was even before it beat Australia.

      Liked by 4 people

      • LordCanisLupus Jun 24, 2015 / 9:36 pm

        Thought you’d like it, Arron!

        We’ve just won an ODI series – hurrah. Right up for the Ashes, us!

        Like

  17. MM Jun 24, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location: MM are my real initials / I’m from Worcestershire.

    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here? All of that 2013/2014 stuff brought me here, and I’m staying at least until Cook[y] gets the Spanish archer from Strauss[y].

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of? Fine, as is. Keep the MSM in the crosshairs.

    4. Your unsung Ashes hero of days gone by? Not utterly unsung but deffo Graham Dilley, 1981. Great 50 and a really great catch on the boundary. So sad he’s gone. Another hero (again not utterly unsung) would be Ashley Giles, The Oval, 2005. Great 50, partnering KP. Happy to say that I was there to see it. Regular-style heroes would be Beefy and Brearley, KP and Freddie.

    5. Your Ashes series prediction: I said England would lose everything this year so I’d better be true to my word… 5-zip to the Aussies. I’d love it if we could park the bus for a nil-nil. All last pair at the wicket grindouts. How I’d laugh! When was the last time a five test series didn’t get a single victory? Gotta be worth a quid, espesh if the weather goes all St Swithun on us.

    Like

  18. Pontiac Jun 25, 2015 / 12:17 am

    1 (name/location): Pontiac Gransafari (not really), Maryland USA, hopefully California soon.

    2 Why here? Intellectual consistency in the articles and comments and a much greater commitment to fair analysis than the professional outlets. Cricket as a sport deserves better than what one gets com most professional journalists these days. Caribbean commentators and journalists are far more straightforward and honest about their team than the English ones.

    3. More of? I think the guest articles sourced from knowledgeable supporters of teams other than England have been a great addition and are well worth doing when feasible.

    4. Past Ashes hero? Being /genuinely/ outside cricket, and a perspective spanning only 5 years, I should pass.

    5. Series prediction: Australia 3, England 1, Rain 1.

    Like

    • SteveT Jun 25, 2015 / 12:51 pm

      1) Steve/Cambridge

      2) Disillusioned with biased reporting of KP affair. Got a BTL link to TFT, which in turn directed me to HDWLIA (A great fisk of a Selfey article got me hooked). I read both your blog sites and only bother with MSM articles when flagged up BTL.

      3) Keep doing what you are doing. Keep asking the questions that MSM won’t (they still have a big influence, witness the numpties booing KP on T20 finals day) Vian is a great addition and complements you perfectly. I enjoy the nostagia trips (I go back to mid-70’s for my earliest cricket memories)

      4) Ashley Giles. Chipped in with wickets, important runs down the order, catches in the gully and was a perfect foil for the fab four (IMHO the most potent pace attack England has ever had).

      5) Superior bowling firepower and runs from lower order will be main factors in convincing win for Aus.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. d'Arthez Jun 25, 2015 / 7:35 am

    1. d’Arthez. Currently in Kenya, otherwise mostly in the Netherlands. Am a Dutchman.

    2. Why here? I must admit I never liked the English press that much, being a South African supporter. SA seems to always conveniently gets brushed out of history, or under-appreciated for their efforts. That was understandable to a certain extent. So I always took the English press writing with a pinch of salt.

    However, after the 5-0 humiliation in Australia, which at times looked like volunteering to be put in front of a firing squad, pleading for an execution of some sorts, the English media simply abdicated any pretense of being journalists, or even having a modicum of understanding of their role(s). The alarm bells went ringing. Captain Cook effectively got a promotion for his heroic efforts to lead the players, bound and gagged, to the execution squares.

    The subsequent revelations proved beyond a doubt that the ECB does not have cricket’s best interests at heart. The same, sadly, must be said of the press. Selvey’s stance on the ICC reforms, the idiocy of Paul Downton, the upward promotion of Flower, the protection of Captain Calamity, no matter what the cost. The idiotic bowling plans. None of those things were seriously queried in the MSM. In fact, the idiocy was defended with a total disregard of both facts and reality. It was obvious to anyone that the ECB is run as a family business. A bad one at that.

    I picked up about HDWLIA in one of the Guardian comments. And have been around here since then. Mainly because the articles and the debates are the most candid and honest assessment on the state of England’s cricket.

    3. More of? Cricket as both a recreational sport, as well as the administrative side. Yes admin is boring, but the game is at risk of being hijacked by the administrators and being reduced to well-paid entertainment, WWE-style. I am not optimistic about the future of cricket as a sport. The playing field is already hopelessly uneven.

    4. Past Ashes hero? Extremely tough one to answer for me, since I have not watched *that* many Ashes series. So I’ll refrain from answering that one. There are many unsung heroes in cricket. From groundsmen, to casual players who have inspired batsmen and bowlers to take up the game professionally. They don’t get the acknowledgement they deserve.

    5. Ashes prediction: Australia 3. England 1. I don’t expect England to take the win in a dead rubber though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Jun 25, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      I pray that Ravi won’t be involved in the Ashes. Else the Ashes might just as well be settled on a game of roulette.

      Ravi and Reiffel seem to have combined for another perfect DRS howler. Appeal for a caught against Kaushal Silva behind turned down by Ravi. No edge, sure enough. The only problem? Ravi seemed to have not considered the lbw. Reiffel did not bother to check for the lbw, and rest assured it was plumb. Silva got a life, and Sri Lanka in control of the second Test against Pakistan now.

      Like

      • Arron Wright Jun 25, 2015 / 12:18 pm

        His role in the rejuvenation of English cricket and the Best Lord’s Test Match Evs has been rather overlooked, hasn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Andy Jun 25, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location

    Andy near Nottingham

    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here?

    On a long, dark stormy night in the year something something I found myself lonely and desiring of true wonder and stimulation…

    I actually can’t remember when I found HDWLIA, Think it was a year and a half or so ago – seems like it should be longer though. I just felt that the main news didn’t really do any assessment of the matches or state of the game as a whole. There also didn’t seem to be much out there in the way of discussion (I never really went BTL – most ‘mainstream’ comments sections always seem to be populated by numpties, lunatics and spam). Other blogs seemed tame or limited and there didn’t seem to be much chat on forums.

    I found Dmitri (have I spelt that right this time?) and his energy & passion hooked me. That combined with the rants, the stats and now The Elegance… just keep me here.

    I like that you have stuff going up regularly, although sometimes its maybe too regular. I feel when 3 topics get posted in a day, there is potential for the 2nd & 3rd ones to get missed, or certianly less commented on (which brings me to…)

    I also love the interaction from other posters. I think it’s been said before, but “there are people out there who think like me!!”

    As a rule, I find the comments below the main topic to be high quality, open and honest. Different opinions are discussed and accepted as opposed to shouted down and hounded out.

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting)

    I love that you are determined to get facts ahead of sensationalism. That you are not afraid of holding those ‘inside’ to account. That you have the smarts & nous to see through the garbage (and to a degree interpret it for those of us who bought it for so long).

    I like when do the century watches & maybe something for bowlers would be interesting as well. I also like you stats mining (and that of commentators) who present facts that disprove/discredit info held up as fact elsewhere.

    I would echo the thoughts of ‘other guest posts’ WRT other nationalities (such as with Dennis). You could maybe also have more assessment of technique, or the hows and whys of various laws. Stump the umpire type questions, or analysis of different bowling/batting philosophies? I don’t know – but when there is down time between series’s (maybe not at the moment but later on), there may be a way to keep people engaged on the slow news days.

    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero.

    Probably not unsung, but my hero has always been Mike Atherton. He was just starting out when I got into cricket as a youngster and I just remember his grit and determination.

    5. Your Ashes series prediction.

    3-1 with rain claiming the other. Not saying who too though….. Ha, I wish – Aus to take it.

    I’ll shut up now

    Liked by 1 person

  21. veturisarma Jun 26, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    Scrolled through the comments to find that I’m the only Indian here, but anyway here go my answers

    1. Commenter Name / Location : Veturi Sarma, Hyderabad, India

    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here? I donno what brought me here for the first time, but I like the way how the blog is written (esp the language part of it, I admire it and would like to emulate it) and maintained. Along with TFT, this blog is where batting and bowling techniques are written about and discussed, although a bit infrequent to my liking.

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting) – As I said earlier, I would love to see more discussion on techniques, and lesser Anti-ECB stuff. Frankly it is not very amusing to read so much being written about ECB.

    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero.- I started watching Ashes only since the 2013 tour, so I don’t have any unsung heroes particularly from the Ashes. I know the tests between England and Australia are called The Ashes, and I googled up a lot of info about it,but I started watching and following only from that series. And IMHO, there aren’t any unsung “heroes” in Cricket.

    5. Your Ashes series prediction. 2-1 in favor of Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. thebogfather Jun 26, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location – TheBogfather (Portsmouth) (also known as BilyUsInAdEq)

    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here?
    – Found a link on TFT to HDWLIA about a year ago. This is the best by far conversational cricket blog around with Dmitri off his long-run and T’Elegance also writing some wonderful pieces too. The comments from the likes of D’Arthez, Mark, Arron, Zeph, PaulE and just about everyone here make this my first stop of the day, everyday. The quality of writing, debate, knowledge and humour is superb – I thank you all. (apologies if I didn’t name you above)

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of?
    – hard to beat what is here already, but perhaps a few more global pieces – ICC shambles, BCCI power etc, and the reminisces of past games/players are enjoyable too. Perhaps also, when Dmitri/Vian are busy, a random topic for all us outsiders to joust with? Oh, and as an ex-bowler (who thought he was fast left arm swing), some bowler based stats to compliment those willow wielders.

    4. Your unsung Ashes hero of days gone by?
    Hard to think of an unsung Ashes hero – could choose from Dilley and the tail Headingley 81, Gladstone Small and his Michelle when Beefy (arghh, was the first ‘Y’?) took 5 too in Aus 86/7, Simon Jones 05, Gary Pratt 05, but in the end I’ll pick Eddie Paynter for his true heroics in the bodyline series, and no, I’m not that old!

    5. Your Ashes series prediction. Hmm… I’m going 2-2 (1 draw – Cardiff), with Eng winning the last two tests under a new captain to square the series, but not regain the Ashes…

    Like

  23. Rooto Jun 26, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    Bit late but…
    1, My name is James. I live in Nice. You would have been within 100 yards of my flat when you took the train to Monaco the other week (assuming it wasn’t a helicopter transfer direct from the airport!)

    2, Thanks to Arron and Clive whose occasional links BTL at the Guardian led me eventually to HDWLIA about a year ago. I don’t get angry easily, but even I was angry about the ECB by then. I stay because I trust this site to tell the truth, and other posters tell me about places I would never visit (Mail, Torygraph). And it’s bloody good.

    3, No complaints, except maybe to back up another poster who suggested finding a way to spread out your entries when you have a spurt, in order for each to receive the attention it deserves.

    4, There’s a big gap in my cricket watching life, between leaving home and the development of blogs and streams. About 15 years. I’m still catching up (but I had a soft spot for DeFreitas).

    5, Where do so many of you get the idea that we’re going to sneak a test from? 4-0 Aus.

    Will be in touch over the weekend if the panel is still a goer. Thanks for everything.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. thebogfather Jun 26, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    Can we have the ‘official’ Dmitri and Leggy answers to 4 and 5? 🙂

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 26, 2015 / 9:00 pm

      4. A combo – Tim Robinson in 1985 grabbed my imagination. I was an opener, and loved the way he made big tons. Sadly it lasted barely a few more months as the West Indies tore him apart. Also Ramps had a more than decent record against the Aussies, and his wonder catch at the MCG turned a test. More recently, Simon Jones. His first spell at Brisbane in 2002, had the Aussies a bit concerned. Certainly they were around me. Then in 2005 he was immense.

      5. Clueless. Heart thinks we might run it close, head tells me it’s 4-0 to them. 2013 nags at the back of my mind though – they weren’t anywhere near close to us, despite the re-writing of history (if that had been Aussie winning that series in that manner, no-one would have bigged up England) and lots of them are back again.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. escort Jun 26, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    1. Commenter Name / Location
    Escort. North Dorsetshire
    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here?
    A link from the main stream. ATM this blog this blog provides excellent coverage and sometimes looks at the game from a different prospective. (long may that continue)
    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting)
    Genuine cricket stuff, both present and historical (century watch is superb) and less whingeing about what the MSM is doing. (i no i’m as guilty as many others in this respect but sometimes it just seems be taken to an extreme that is just not worth the effort.
    4. Your unsung Ashes here of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero
    Mark Butcher is worth a mention here i think. More stiches than runs before Brisbane in 98 then he hit a good century and also his brilliant match winning hundred at Headingley in 2001. Mike Aterthon’s batting in 93 also stands out for me, Merv Hughes gave him plenty and then more abuse and Atherton just looked at him as though he had no idea what Merv was saying. Brillant.
    5. Your Ashes series prediction.
    At Least a 3-1 defeat. Clarke will give Cook a captaincy cuckolding if any games are closely fought, if Clarke,s bowlers stay fit then it could be worse. Cook is the most uninspiring leader England have ever had and the recent success the ODI team have had should wake up some members of the team to what a depressing self indulgent and uninspiring person Cook can be. His performances to the media are just plain “er um err” embarrassing and it does not reflect well on the people who chose him as captain. The comment he made about Jos Buttler (after a brilliant ODI century)about not being ready for test cricket was the worst thing i think i have heard an England captain ever say. I don’t wish to ramble on but Cook has turned into the worst captain this country has ever had the misfortune to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Simon K Jun 27, 2015 / 11:39 am

    1. Simon K

    2. I enjoy the commentary ATL and the conversation with like-minded people BTL. I can be rude about Guardian journalists without fear of censorship.

    3. I think cricket writing in general would benefit from being more reflective and more retrospective, and a bit less “onto the next thing”. This isn’t a criticism of your blog, more of the relentless ICC/ECB schedule which means there is always something new to talk about. It means that people get away with stuff that they shouldn’t and things get swept under the carpet (not by you, obviously, but as an established dissenting voice you are able to push back against this and often do so very well). So to turn that into a practical suggestion, more historical/retrospective stuff. But only if you want to!

    4. I don’t really have heroes in cricket per se and the Ashes is so heavily scrutinised now that players tend to get their due for the most part, IMO. I think that Tresco’s 90 at Edgbaston in 2005 is underrated, mainly because of cricket’s dull obsession with irrelevant numerical landmarks. More generally, while his Ashes record is not spectacular, Tresco was one of the first England cricketers to understand that there is virtue in trying to push the score on in a test match context.

    5. I don’t think England will win more than two tests and that Australia will win the series. I will leave it at that for the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Rohan Jun 27, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    1. Rohan, just outside London, near Epsom.

    2. A link from a telegraph article bought me here. I was looking for balanced copy on the KP sacking, I think it was Feb/Mrach 2014 and a poster on the comments section of the telegraph suggested HDWLIA. I looked and was hooked! I posted shortly after finding the blog and have been a firm follower since……

    3. I would like to see more about great teams of the past. The windies of the 80s, the Aussies of the late 90s/early 00s etc. I am also happy for more of what you currently do as its good stuff.

    4. My unsung ashes heroes were Bobby Dazzler, Darren Gough. Although he was an Aussie and wound me up I secretly admired Merv Hughes in the ashes. Not an unsung hero but I loved Simon Jone and KP, I also thought Warne was brilliant.

    5. I think the Aussies will win 3-0 or 3-1. I would love us to play like the ODI team, if we did this and lost, I would probably still be happy. If we return to the stilted, dry, boring, dull cricket of the past few years, to my mind it will be a clear and conclusive indictment of Cook and his tactics/captaincy, from which, for Cook, there will be no return.

    Like

  28. waikatoguy Jul 4, 2015 / 1:27 am

    1. Commenter Name / Location (we have some odd ones register on our location page)

    waikatoguy. An NZer at the moment working in Melbourne.

    2. What brought you here, and what keeps you here?

    The posts and the comments are just more interesting than the run of the mill journalism. Even without all the ECB shenanigans I’d still be here.

    3. Be honest – what would you like to see more of (no promises but it is interesting)

    I guess guest posts. The convenor does a great job of posting great stuff but sooner or later he will blow a gasket, or at least need a bit of a break from it.

    4. Your unsung Ashes hero of days gone by? If not into the Ashes, your unsung cricketing hero.

    Oh have to be Stuart McGill. If he had been a bit younger or a bit older he would have taken over 300 test wickets, and been acknowledged as one of the great spin bowlers of all time. Australia has so many headaches during the 1980s trying to find a test standard spinner and then two great ones come along at the same time. You wouldn’t rad about. No wonder he was a bit of a nut case. McGill’s one of the great all time leg spinners. Just check out clips of him on youtube literally spinning the ball sideways.

    5. Your Ashes series prediction.

    2-1 to Australia. The gap between the test sides these days is not that great. All sides have weaknesses. I think the Australian bowling and fielding will win it for them. When the brittle England batting order collapses Australia will have the means to keep getting the mid order and lower order batsmen out. England wont be able to quite do the same thing when the top order of Australia collapses.

    Like

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