Monday, 1 November 2010

Excitement, blind faith and humiliation

Only a fool would get excited about the forthcoming Ashes series in Australia after the disastrous and humiliating events of 2006-07...well pass me the jester's outfit, the dunce's cap and call me barmy because I can feel the anticiaption rising by the day as the countdown to the first test in Brisbane begins in earnest. A close fought, thrilling spectacle awaits. Fortunes fluctating by the day, by the hour, by the over.

What do you mean England hasn't won Down Under since 1986-7? And you say it's lost the last 5 away Ashes series, more often than not by crushing margins?

Surely, surely it's going to be different this time?

With only this blind faith to guide me I've decided to risk two months of misery and Aussie gloating in the hope that I can witness Strauss and co emulating the success of Gatting's tourists more than 20 years ago.

After taking in the football World Cup in South America (see I've decided to get a bit closer to the action for the undisputed sporting highlight of the year. I'll be arriving in Brisbane in time for the opening skirmishes and then travelling on to Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney for the remainder of the series. I'll be on the look-out for tickets but the number one aim is to sample the Ashes atmosphere in each city and to track the highs and lows of England's bid to retain that little Urn. All the stories, characters and adventures will be faithfully reported on Getting To The Pitch.

Before the action commences there'll be previews, player profiles, great Ashes moments, stats, videos, photos and much, much more. Every move, sledge and tweet of the main protaganists will be tracked and analysed right here.

Cricket needs this Ashes series more than ever after the debacle that was Pakistan's recent tour of England and the depressing match-fixing allegations. No quarter asked, no quarter given...but let's hope that captains Strauss and Ponting make their players aware of their wider responsibilities to the game and ensure they put on a thrilling and sporting spectacle that has us all out of our seats.

I'm ready.

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