The Plastic Hippo

August 8, 2015

How much?

Filed under: Sport — theplastichippo @ 4:00 pm
Tags: ,


Setting aside the impulse purchase of a Betamax video player and an eight track cartridge player for a Sinclair C5, forking out 140 quid for a seat in the Radcliffe Road end at Trent Bridge for the fourth day of the Ashes test seemed rather rash.

England, however, easily won the Ashes before noon on the third day and thus the long planned journey to Nottingham was rendered redundant. Fortunately, Trent Bridge gives refunds so the dosh is earmarked for a shopping trolley full of Fosters and a case of Jacob`s Creek Shiraz. My ability to predict the outcome of cricket matches is now as credible as my ambition to become a fashion model or the first human being to set foot on Mars. I thought that Sunday would be the pivotal day in the fourth test with whatever side that lost the toss going in to bat after tea to chase an achievable total during the three sessions on Monday.

Imagine my delight and horror when listening at work to the first half hour of Test Match Special on Thursday morning when even the usually unflappable Henry Blofeld was left gasping for breath. Australia were all out for 60 before lunch with Stuart Broad taking eight for 15 and the game was over. It might be an old-fashioned and outdated opinion but I really think that one-day internationals are ruining traditional cricket and I long for a return to proper five-day test matches. Unlike Kevin Costner in that dire Robin Hood movie, I will not be dining in Nottingham on Sunday evening.

Stuart Broad`s eight for 15 is remarkable enough but we should not ignore Joe Root`s 130, Stokes taking 6 for 36 in Australia`s second innings and the masterful captaincy of Alastair Cook who, just 18 months ago, was the target of disgraceful vitriol from tabloid sports hacks. As a team performance, England winning the Ashes at Trent Bridge on Saturday is possibly the greatest achievement in Ashes cricket apart from one other.

Way back in July 1981 England faced certain defeat in the third test at Headingley. Mike Brearley had just been returned to the England captaincy after a lacklustre spell from Ian Botham. Even though Beefy took six Australian wickets for 95 in the first innings and scored 50 in reply, England were forced to follow on with a seemingly insurmountable 227 deficit and the game looked to be over. Boycott was as boring as ever and was as tedious and annoying then as he is now on Test Match Special. Then up to the crease comes Ian Botham who knocked an unbeaten 149 leaving Australia to bat again with a mere 130 required for the win.

On the final day, Brearley gave the ball to Bob Willis who bowling down the slope at Leeds took eight Australian wickets for 43. England won the test match and won the Ashes. Broad and Root and Stokes now join Botham and Willis in the all star eleven that I would happily buy a round of drinks for.

For people who have no interest in cricket, 140 quid for a seat might seem a bit steep and the endless obsession with statistics could suggest a disconnection from reality. Tomorrow, I might go to Trent Bridge anyway just to enable me to tell my unborn grandchildren that I was there 24 hours after England won the Ashes. I prefer to display my nationalism by taking joy from beating the Aussies at cricket rather than beating migrants in detention centres and would advise crooked politicians stoking up racism to follow my example.

Is that too much to ask?

1 Comment »

  1. “I really think that one-day internationals are ruining traditional cricket”
    followed by
    ” Boycott was as boring as ever”


    Jacob’s Creek you say?

    Comment by Rob — August 9, 2015 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

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