Opinion: The alternate Ashes highlights

Now that the series is done it is time to look back on the highlights from the series. Runs, wickets and catches are all well and good, but that is not really what the Ashes is about. Here are some of the things that made this series one of the greats.

England's last innings was put out of its misery like a geriatric Labrador. It was the kindest thing to do, a quick ending is often a good ending. This is especially true when the series has been like a fishing trawler caught in the perfect storm, lurching from one disaster to the next.

Now that the series is done it is time to look back on the highlights from the series. Runs, wickets and catches are all well and good, but that is not really what the Ashes is about. Here are some of the things that made this series one of the greats.


Almost as soon as England had landed the Ashes phoney war of words began. Apparently an international sports team that prides itself in being professional in all matters had dietary requirements. For reasons known only to themselves this seemed to upset people. The 83 pages of recipes was the most discussed food story since there was horse meat in Tesco lasagna. The image that some portrayed was of English prima donnas demanding ridiculous foods to upset their hosts. As England walked off 5-0 down at the SCG you couldn't help but think they had a point.

<b>I seen Alastair Cook</b>

Possibly the highlight of the year, let alone the Ashes. Michael Clarke gave a press conference where he named the England team for the first Test. There will be hours of painstaking video analysis to decide how it was that this flawless little skit went wrong. It had everything, proof of Clarke's intimate knowledge of the opposition, Pommie bashing, detailed listing of names. This should have worked, but it didn't. Even Clarke wanted to bail out half way through as he realised Darren Lehmann had left the building. In years to come this will be seen as the defining moment of Michael Clarke's illustrious career. He may have won the Ashes, but he didn't raise a laugh from the press. He won the battle but lost the war.

<b>The 27-year-old English medium pacer</b>

The Courier Mail of Brisbane was not a publication that was in the front of the minds of cricket minds before this series. Now it is a household name (laughing stock) as it started an incredibly childish vendetta against Stuart Broad. The reason for this hatred seems to stem from the fact that Stuart didn't walk back at Trent Bridge. Why he has been singled out when many amongst the Australia Test team would have done the same is not discussed. They refused to mention Broad's name, therefore insuring that Broad got even more coverage. It was perfect.

<b>Piers Morgan</b>

Piers Morgan ran away from six Brett Lee bouncers and then told us all that he was brave. He wasn't. He was an idiot trying to do something he was incapable of to prove a point that didn't need to be made. When the over started he was hit four times, fell over once and was bowled. He may as well have not taken a bat into the net with him. He was backing away and frightened. He may have given it lots of talk, but if David Warner was there he would have told you he had scared eyes. He is a shameless publicity whore, but he is very good at it.

<b>Watson, run out bowled Bresnan</b>

England have brought us some absolutely brilliant fielding moments in these series, but none come close to this gem. Shane Watson hit the ball miles into the air. It didn't leave the square and Ian Bell came in to take the easiest of catches. He dropped it, of course. Watson clearly hadn't been paying attention to the standards of English fielding in this series and was walking back to the pavilion. An outraged Tim Bresnan picked the ball up and threw down the stumps to run Watson out. Bresnan's contributions to this England side are now so intangible he doesn't even get credit for his wickets.

<b>Stuart and the sightscreen</b>

Broad walked out to bat at Adelaide with England in the thrall of Mitchell Johnson, again. He was ripping through the England batting order like the World's Strongest Man with Telephone Books. Broad got to the wicket and decided that there was something shiny of the very edge of the sightscreen. He spent the next eight minutes complaining about it as the offending bolt was covered up. This in itself would have been worthy of a laugh, but it got better. Broad was out to the very first ball he faced. A 10-minute Golden Duck. What more could a Test series ask for.

<b>Monty and The American</b>

Just when you thought the silly Ashes stories were over for a short while, along came this absolute corker from the Daily Mirror. Monty Panesar, a single man in a hotel room in a strange city tried to chat up a girl on the mobile phone app, Tinder. It was reported that rather than spending his time in solemn reflection on England's defeat he was flirting via text message with an American back packer. Of all the barrel scraping news stories of this Ashes this has to be the best.

<b>Drop everyone</b>

The reaction from the English press to this humiliation at the hands of English cricket's oldest foes has been a real epic. Of the 18 players that England have fielded, the only ones that have yet to be singled out for calls to axe them are the four debutants, but it is still early days. Kevin Pietersen should be dropped, then made captain, then made vice captain and then dropped again. Andy Flower should be fired, as should David Saker, Graham Gooch and Mushtaq Ahmed. There have even been calls for refunds for fans on the tour, Giles Clarke the ECB Chairman to apologise and for Alastair Cook to be whipped within an inch of his life on Trafalgar Square. (The last one is made up, but give it time). The press love to hate, and England have done a great job at given them ammunition.

<b>Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek)</b>