Ashes Wrap Up – Talking Points

Australia

Ashes Wrap Up – Talking Points

The ticker tape has been cleared away and the champagne bottles are in the recycling, Lizzy Ammon wraps up the talking points from the Ashes

Where was the tension?

Well there wasn't any. The series gave us thrilling moments – no one will ever forget the first morning of Trent Bridge, some exceptional personal performances, some fast paced fun but it gave us nothing even close to nail biting tension.

Edge of the seat, which way will this go, drama was lacking.  It wasn't a close series despite the final scoreline. There hasn't been a close Ashes series for a decade and whilst moaning about pitches and home conditions is ridiculous, you do wonder if we're ever going to see a close one again.  

As well as a lack of tension, some of the cricket was pretty poor especially from the batsmen. Absence of any real determination and a battling innings that demonstrated the battle of what a long Test match innings can be.  

Tallest midget competition?

A bizarre series which has seen two teams trying to out-collapse each other. England did it once fewer times. We weren't watching two great sides, we weren't even watching two very good sides.

We were watching one good developing side and one who now face the prospect of rebuilding – as teams always do when they've lost the Ashes.  

This was a fun series but we were essentially seeing which of the two teams could be the least worst in any given Test – there certainly seemed to be more bad shots than good ones.

England were well deserved winners though – we've seen some of the best of Alastair Cook, Joe Root has cemented his place as a sporting superstar, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood have both brought moments of brilliance and Stuart Broad's eight for 15 will be one of those cricketing statistics still talked about in 200 years.     

It probably doesn't matter but Stuart Broad should have been man of the series

This really was the series that marked Broad out as one of the best England have ever had and will take on the role of England's senior bowler when Anderson – in the not too distant future – hangs up his boots.

Broad has always had moments of devastating brilliance but then would go missing for the next two or three Tests – this series though he's been consistently good, bowling a stunningly effective fuller length. 

He also resurrected his dying batting and dispensed with some of his petulance with that spell on the first morning of Trent Bridge. England won the Ashes because of Broad's consistency and it seems very odd he wasn't man of the series.  

Not to take anything away from Joe Root who is an absolute superstar, but it's a batsman's game innit.

Champagne after losing by an innings

Again – it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things – it looked distinctly odd the England team jumping up and down with champagne after having just been drubbed by an innings.  

I know you have to wait till the series is finished to decide on a man of the series and give out medals but perhaps the urn should be presented as soon as the series is actually won to avoid that incongruous situation again.

And on a final note, Ashes series are so well attended, so well covered and so well hyped that they can easily give the impression that all is well in the cricketing world.

The hours and hours and pages and pages of coverage, the full stadiums, the millions of pounds – this isn't how most of the rest of cricket is.  

The big three are strangling cricket in other nations, the English domestic game has real challenges ahead, the 10-team World Cup remains total nonsense as does the lack of cricket in the Olympics and most importantly the people who run the game remain unaccountable and the ICC remains a plaything for megalomaniacs.

A fun Ashes series must not distract us from these important issues.

Lizzy Ammon

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