Wednesday, 29 November 2006

The Ashes

Cricket is Australia's national sport, and a passion for many around the world. "Test" cricket - the highest level international matches - are played between (in alphabetical order!) Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, Zimbabwe (currently suspended), and perhaps in the near future, Kenya.
Notice a pattern there? How come Canada got away? Climate maybe? Still, Canada has a national team, as does the Netherlands. There are various cricket competitions in the US, notably in California, where ex-pats form the backbone. I have even seen a flyer advertising cricket in Paris!
Test cricket bewilders many from non-cricketing countries. It is played over five days, for about 6 hours each day, and there are breaks for lunch and tea! "Drinks" are taken in the field midway through each "session". To fans, Test cricket is almost a zen experience. Conditions constantly change, and there is always the variable of the weather to consider... The Captain of the Australian cricket team is probably the most famous sportsperson in the country at any time.
"The Ashes" is the name given to any test series played between England and Australia. This occurs every 2 years, alternating between the countries. To find out more about why it's called "The Ashes" - read here.
Australia lost the last Ashes series in England, and is out to avenge their defeat! Australia won the first match in Brisbane. The second starts in Adelaide on Friday. The series finishes in Sydney the first week in January, with matches in Perth and Melbourne in between. After the Ashes, New Zealand comes over, and a triangular series of "One Day" matches (a different form of the game played within one day) will be contested between Australia, England and New Zealand. I'll be off to see a couple of those matches.


  1. I have heard the term "cricket" in movies and such but don't know want it is specifically.

    How is it played?

  2. I'm one of the foreigners who definitely don't dig the game. Have fun!

  3. le "Cricket" c'est un sport ;o) j'avoue ne rien connaitre, on n'en passe pas du tout en France. c'est un sport important en australie ?

    the “cricket” it is a sport ;O) I acknowledge anything to know, one does not pass from there at all to France. it is an important sport in Australia?

  4. o;ivier - it's probably the number 1 sport in Australia!

    susan - how is it played - well, that would take volumes to explain. But Google knows!

  5. I've seen the Canadian cricket team play on one and only one occasion at the insistance of an acquaintance. Our official national sport, much to the amazement of most, is not hockey, but lacrosse. Hockey is the national sport by popularity, with beer drinking coming in a close second. We are also very proficient at curling, another sport that is about as exciting at cricket.

  6. No idea about cricket! Sorry!
    But I know, how greasy people can bee with their favorite sport.And perhaps we need something bigger than a life :)
    Thanks your visit my site!

  7. I would like to learn the rules of this game one day. Is it easier than learning a new language?

    ps I notice you have a link to "my boyfriend is a twat". She is a hoot, isn't she?

  8. robert: I think the Canadian team is captained by an Australian ex-pat, or was. When I was there in 2003 I remember seeing the cricket team on the front page of one of the newspapers - they won a match against the Aussies I believe!

    Luggi - cricket is a new language!

    I first came across Zoe onthe Lonely Planet web forums - she IS a real hoot.

  9. Sally, thanks for the complete, simple and clear explanations of what the Ashes are.
    As a Froggie settled Down Under, I've never dared to ask to any Aussie around. They take for granted than everyone knows and would have thought I am stupid, a fool or even... making fun of this very Commonwealth-ian noble sport event...

  10. bv - a pleasure! I know what that's like - it can be bewildering trying to come to grips with all the nuances of such things that are just so deeply embedded in the cultural psyche.

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