The end of the Ashes is in sight, and thank fuck for that. No disrespect to the Australians (we can disrespect them in many ways, but this one is not their fault), but we hope they get back on the plane down under quicker than a Mitchell Starc fast wide-one. It has been fun watching David Warner fail to reach a hundred this summer, but really, we have had far far too much Ashes cricket in the past few years. Admittedly it does feel good when the office is talking about Australia being 50/9 rather than Game of Thrones, but come on, England vs. Australia isn’t everything you know.
So as soon as the fifth Test is over – and the 17 ODIs (of which 11 will be washed out) and pair of T20s (which will finish 1-1) are completed – let’s not play Australia again for a good couple of years. Firstly, we are really sick of Shane Warne being on our television – and getting paid as well! – and secondly, the Ashes hype is to the detriment of the enjoyment of all other international cricket.
England have considerable challenges coming up, a lot of which are unknown. For example what do the English fans know of the current Pakistan team, apart from them being mercurial, considering they appear on British screens these days less often than Rolf Harris? England’s last tour to the UAE was a disaster, and they at least had two proper spinners to choose from, whereas now they have an untested Adil Rashid to partner Moeen Ali. Apparently Pakistan have some good bowlers now, who it would be nice to actually get to see, rather than yet again watch Nathan Lyon hugging his head after beating the outside of Stuart Broad’s bat.
Then there is South Africa. An overseas tour that never fails to be memorable, despite taking place about once in a month of blue Sundays. There have been four Ashes series since England last played there away, which is nonsensical. Whether it’s Graham Onions batting out a draw, Matthew Hoggard being awesome or a few South Africans suddenly modelling shiny new jackets, there are always incredible moments in these series and we can’t bloody wait.
So piss off Australia, may we not see you return again for four long years.