‘It might be in there’: Paine concedes Edgbaston might make his top 15
Australia Test captain Tim Paine has revised the withering assessment he made of Edgbaston last year.
Prior to the 2019 Ashes Test at the Birmingham cathedral of cricket, Paine scoffed at the suggestion that the ground was among the more intimidating venues for visiting teams.
Paine said “I could name you 15 (more intimidating)”, in a disdainful reply to a journalist on the eve of the Test.
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The Australia skipper has revealed that he was soon proven wrong as the Edgbaston faithful made up for their relative lack of numbers by being intense and relentless in laying into the visitors.
On reflection, Paine cherishes the moment recognising how special the atmosphere was, and said the ground might now crack his infamous top 15.
“It might be in there,” Paine said on the latest episode of The Unpayable Podcast, which revisits the events of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.
“I (previously) played one game at Edgbaston and it was against Pakistan in a T20. “It actually shocked me when (the journalist) asked me that question, and I was like, ‘What, this ground?’. Because I’m looking at it, it’s tiny, it fits 25,000, I don’t think it’s going to be that intimidating.
“Then yep, the next day, bang. As soon as we walked out for warm-ups, I was copping it on the way out to the nets.
“But I look back at that now and think ‘that was really, really cool to be a part of’ because that crowd was absolutely pumping, and they were into us and they were consistent.
“They went for, I won’t say five days because you could hear a pin drop on day five, but the first four days they were absolutely relentless and you’ve got to tip your hat to that kind of support and how they just went and went and went – they did not stop from the first ball to the last ball.”
Paine wouldn’t trade Edgbaston experience for the world
Paine insists that nothing compares to the Ashes and the experience of facing England in front of packed grounds.
“At the time you think, ‘Geez, this is difficult, it’s uncomfortable’ and now I look back at it and think, ‘I would never give that experience back ever again’,” Paine said.
“That was something you remember for the rest of your life, the noise that crowd was making, the songs they were singing.
“Being part of a first Ashes Test in England, I think that Edgbaston crowd, the way they went about it and the way they got stuck into us just made it all the more special and have made it a lifelong memory in a good way.”
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