The Press Tent Daily: The old hairdryer treatment

It’s hard for England fans to stay positive in the wake of such an epic thrashing, but there are reasons to be cheerful.

For one, Australia can never, ever again complain about England (or India, for that matter) doctoring pitches after the farcical sight of the final day of Ashes cricket at the WACA beginning with two hours of groundstaff trying desperately to dry the pitch with leaf-blowers after water got under the covers. That’s a handy victory for us all.

Never, ever again can Australians when losing overseas clamber smugly and piously atop the moral high ground and proclaim “Of course, Australia is the only country where the pitches are fair” after England (who luckily for everyone were going to lose here anyway, the only thing that may prevent a full-blown shitstorm over today’s farce) had to contend with a demonstrably inadequate pitch for the final day.

One of the two batsmen left available for England immediately falling victim to one of the wet patches caused by the WACA’s ill-preparedness to cope with the strange phenomenon of liquid falling from the sky was a humorous if perhaps rather obvious bit of slapstick fun.

Of course, much like their self-policing of The Line, Australia are also the moral policemen of sour grapes, meaning that nobody in England can complain about this lest they be labelled a “sook”.

But there’s no doubt Australia dodged a bullet here. Had the umpires reached a different opinion on the suitability of the pitch and abandoned play today, Australia could have had no complaints. Only they will know whether the match situation had any influence at all.

As it is, the correct result was reached in pretty unsatisfactory circumstances.

But there’s no use pretending this was anything other than a desperately bleak day for England fans.

It’s been bad enough for the first three Tests, but it’s only going to get worse and more embarrassing from here on in as England supporters.

Yes, that’s right. For the last two Tests of this series, BT Sport will be without Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist who are on Big Bash duty now for Channel 10. Never mind Ben Stokes, this is the biggest absence of the series for England, leaving a team that’s horribly unbalanced and surely won’t be able to perform in these conditions.

Maybe BT can try and fill the void with Graeme Swann doing impressions of the Aussie pair.


And at least Ponting left us a Christmas gift right at the last by making it clear what he thinks of Geoffrey Boycott. We’ll always have that.