It probably hasn’t escaped the sports-savvy ones among you, but for others, Australia and England are to play back to back Ashes series from June till January. The idea of conjoined bowlers baffling left and right handed conjoined batsmen is probably an idea I should pitch to a Brendan Cowell/Farrelly Brothers consortium. Or not. Switch Hit seems a nice title.
Anyway, this is a big moment in domestic relations. For cricket lovers, this is heaven. For the rest, hell is about to descend. The last time such an occurrence occurred was 1974-5, when Australia hammered England 4-1 out here and then snuck a 1-0 win in the series rapidly scheduled to coincide with the inaugural World Cup in England. Bizarrely, if we had lost in England, which wasn’t out of the question – Free George Davis and all of that – we would have held the Ashes for about 6 months. I guess the shortest reign in history. That could happen this time – we could win over there and lose over here (more likely, England could win over there and then lose here, which raises tactical issues about playing a bit dead in the first series.)
And we know that there were major political shockwaves later in 1975. I’m not saying David Steele was to blame for the Dismissal of the Whitlam Government. But the natural rhythm was disrupted. And he did look like a Governor General.
But I digress… My real point in posting is to seek to reduce tension in households all over the world. There are five (5 only) matches in each series. Each one goes for five days (maximum). Each day covers six hours of play and one hour of breaks. Take off about 2 hours per test for rain or early finishes.
That means there are only 5 x 5 x7 – 10 hours in a series. Only 165 hours a series. In contrast, a week has 24 x 7 or 168 hours in it.
So, the Ashes goes for less than a week.
See, no reason for any fuss.