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Owzat!
August 15, 2005 12:16 PM   Subscribe

You say bodyline, I say leg theory. Either way, the origins of one of sport's most enduring rivalries (leading to a near diplomatic crisis) make for a fascinating read to the budding cricket enthusiast. No wonder people turned out in their thousands to queue in the early hours for the final day of another nail-biting test. It's turning into a hell of an ashes series.
posted by nthdegx (44 comments total)

 
Australia held on to draw against England in the third of five tests. Austrlia won the first, England the second. Two remain.
posted by nthdegx at 12:18 PM on August 15, 2005


Rough breakdown of my conversation with friends this afternoon at a (Midwestern US) bar:

ME: OMFG you pathetic obdurate bastards have missed the single most edge-of-your-seat conclusion to a sporting event in all of history... all because of your xenophobia and aversion to trying new things.
MY FRIENDS: What?
ME: I've stayed up all night the last four nights listening to the Ashes... a test cricket match between England and Australia. It came down to the final ball.
MY FRIENDS: Oh yeah? Who won?
ME: uh... ok... let me explain something first...
posted by cadastral at 12:26 PM on August 15, 2005


Not really sure how this is front page news but I guess The Ashes is big news in England where they haven't won a series since the 80s. If it wasn't for some shocking umpiring decisions (Kasprowicz on the last ball of the second test, Martyn today, frequent plumb lbw decisions turned down for Warne), rain-effected play and some lazy fielding, Australia would be 3-0 up at this time.

What's more, the sickeningly bad sportsmanship of the Manchester crowd - cheering injuries, jeering at worthy appeals, booing bouncers and tormenting fielders couldn't turn the result for yet another weak-willed English side who can't finish the job.
posted by DirtyCreature at 12:39 PM on August 15, 2005


Australia is one of the very few teams whose games turn out entertaining. India is another one, except all that 'entertainment' is for the other side, when India inevitably collapses.

/yeah, still pissed off about that final against SL
posted by Gyan at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2005


Asses to Ashes...
posted by wendell at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2005


More CricketFilter please.

What's more, the sickeningly bad sportsmanship of the Manchester crowd

"Rugby is a game of thug's played by gentlemen, while cricket is a gentlemen's game played by thugs." Apparently this old adage is fading.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2005


Oh by the way, that propaganda drivel in the Melbourne Age article above was written by Peter Roebuck, an Englishman who appears unable to get a job in his own country.
posted by DirtyCreature at 1:00 PM on August 15, 2005


DirtyCreature
None of that would ever happen in Australia of course! I'd guess you've never watched a test there, or are somewhat delusional.
posted by kenchie at 1:21 PM on August 15, 2005


Not really sure how this is front page news

It's not. It's an excellent Wikipedia article that I found a while ago but posted today because of it's increased relevance. I guess you didn't read it.
posted by nthdegx at 1:26 PM on August 15, 2005


...which, incidentally, is why I am of the increasing opinion that single-link FPPs are the best: particularly to avoid thread hijackings. Australian Ricky Ponting got a standing ovation from the English crowd when he left the field. The rest of the reactions you speak of are good-natured banter that is part of the appeal of the cricket and world away from the yobbishness of football fans. Don't tar cricket fans with their brush simply because you do not understand.
posted by nthdegx at 1:31 PM on August 15, 2005


The rest of the reactions you speak of are good-natured banter

Cheering someone getting hit in the helmet and then noone from the opposite team coming up to find out how he is is just sickening and I have not seen this anywhere else in the world but in this Ashes series. England has set a new low in sportsmanship.

And you think Ponting would have been given a standing ovation if he had batted through the day? I strongly doubt it.
posted by DirtyCreature at 1:40 PM on August 15, 2005


Cricket bats are great for zombies.
posted by stenseng at 1:44 PM on August 15, 2005


DirtyCreature: I have not seen this anywhere else in the world but in this Ashes series. England has set a new low in sportsmanship.

You obviously don't remember the 1996 World Cup's India-Sri Lanka semifinal at Eden Gardens, Calcutta.
posted by Gyan at 1:52 PM on August 15, 2005


... or the infamous Bodyline tour in 32-33.

Wait.
posted by cadastral at 2:06 PM on August 15, 2005


Hahaha! There is nothing funnier in world sport than the bitching and whining of Australians when they don't win. One of the great sporting nations but the world's worst losers.

There was nothing but praise for George Bush's innings today and Warne had the entire crowd on their feet as he left the field yesterday.

England has set a new low in sportsmanship...
You're actually serious aren't you? Hahahaha!
posted by i_cola at 2:08 PM on August 15, 2005


DirtyCreature, you're obviously either Australian or Welsh. Your comments have the overpowering stench of sour grapes. And the claim that the Aussies would be 3-0 up if it wasn't for bad weather etc. is just laughable.
Were you not aware of their time-wasting tactics yesterday? That's mighty sportsmanlike. Do you remember the Brisbane Ashes test back in 2002-3? Do you remember how Simon Jones ruptured a knee ligament and had to be carried off the field, leaving him unable to play for 6 months? And do you remember the derisive jeers and howls he got from the crowd for being a mummy's boy crybaby who's hurt his ickle knee? Yeah, everyone else in the world is gentle and kind and open-minded except the meany English. Aussies (crowds and players) are the sorest losers and meanest winners cricket's ever seen.
posted by nylon at 2:08 PM on August 15, 2005


Ahahahahahahahaa!

*points at DirtyCreature in amazement*

Ahahahahahahaaaa! HA!!!

But really, you think that if Damien Martyn hadn't got that (terrible) decision today, Australia would have won this match? You actually think that the Aussies have been the better team in the past two tests?

The English fans have been having a good time, but they've unfailingly applauded the magnificent play we've seen from the Aussies - McGrath at Lords, Warne in the past two tests, Ponting today. So what if they cheer (as many fans do) when someone gets hit on the head? You also clearly don't remember Aussie fans taunting Simon Jones as he lay injured on the ground in Brisbane during the last Ashes.

Whatever - this has been the most thrilling, tense, passionate Ashes series in a long time. Shame for you if you can't appreciate it.
posted by flashboy at 2:11 PM on August 15, 2005


nylon clearly remembers about Brisbane slightly quicker than I do.
posted by flashboy at 2:14 PM on August 15, 2005


And if you want to invoke Hawkeye to tell me that some of Warne's lbw appeals should have been given, you'd better also be prepared to invoke Hawkeye to tell me that some of Jones', Harmison's, Giles', Flintoff's lbw appeals should have been given too. Not to mention invoking the snickometer to show that neither Bell nor Pieterson had contact with the ball in the second test, despite being given out.

It's pretty juvenile to blame the umpires for bad decisions that affect your team while ignoring the bad decisions that favour them.
posted by nylon at 2:19 PM on August 15, 2005


Whatever - this has been the most thrilling, tense, passionate Ashes series in a long time. Shame for you if you can't appreciate it.

Thrilling? Passionate? Maybe to fresh-faced little English boys who need something to shout about given their lack of physical achievements the last fifty years or so. To most of us, it's a yawn. Australia should have won the second test and it was 50/50 of winning this test if Martyn hadn't been given.

But hey for a country that has a history of killing innocent civilians in cold blood to further its own ends, guess these grotty sorts of tactics aren't too surprising.

Oh dear me. I'm so sorry old chap, was that comment just a little too below the belt?

Heh.
posted by DirtyCreature at 2:37 PM on August 15, 2005


This series has been fantastic and has produced some of the best sporting drama in years. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

DirtyCreature's reaction couldn't be more stereotypical if it had corks hanging off it.
posted by blag at 2:44 PM on August 15, 2005


Erm... wtf? Calm down chap, it's only a game.
posted by blag at 2:46 PM on August 15, 2005


Notwithstanding DirtyCreature's bad sportsmanship and sad attempt at ad-hominem thread-derailing, any game -- regardless of who's playing -- that lasts five days and has a result that potentially hinges on the very last ball is a stunning experience. If two games of a series of five finish like that, it's an amazing piece of sport. When it's a contest between the two best teams in the world... well, my GF and I seriously considered driving from London to Manchester last night and queueing for a ticket. In the end we didn't, but regardless I didn't get any work done today.

Roll on Trent Bridge.
posted by Hogshead at 3:26 PM on August 15, 2005


If you want bad sportsmanship, you want underarm bowling.
posted by The Monkey at 4:07 PM on August 15, 2005


I'd just like to point out - not all Brisbanites cheered when Simon Jones went down, just like not all Manchesterites cheered when people got hit in the head. We Aussie fans do seem to have a poor record when it comes to sportsmanship, though -- you certainly don't see the Aussie tourists as lauded as the touring Barmy Army, for instance.

I was interested to note the difference between the teams, though - when Ponting was copped in the Second test and needed stitches, not a single English player came up to see if he was okay.

In the Third test, when Brett Lee stunned (iforgetbutoneoftheopeningbatsmen) the first thing he did was make sure he was okay.

Note: I'm not claiming the English are evil, for that would be unsportsmanlike (not to mention terribly tabloid-journalist).
posted by coriolisdave at 4:43 PM on August 15, 2005


Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to say: Thankyou England. Finally, a team that is able to stand up to the Australian cricket team, and play them on their terms. Obviously, this is not something that we're used to, but bugger me if it's not good for cricket as a whole!
posted by coriolisdave at 4:46 PM on August 15, 2005


I providentially awoke about 3am and saw the end. A great game. England's finally got a worthy team, just when we were thinking not even a World XI could challenge Australia.

(Greg Chappell was exhausted at the end of the season and couldn't face the thought of having to play another game. Not an excuse, an explanation.)
posted by emf at 5:12 PM on August 15, 2005


Hear hear. It's been fantastic cricket, I was thrilled when I woke up to hear the draw had been managed (wuss that I am i can't stay up until 3 am to watch). Australia has been outplayed in the last two tests and the current standing one all is quite fair. Time to drop Gillespie and consider rotating some other batsmen, like Brad Hodge, until our old guard regain some form. England meanwhile, have got to get rid of Geraint Jones.

Hasn't Warney had a cracker of a series? Pity he's such a hideous human being.

OhDirtyCreature, as an Aussie I think we've got terrible crowds that are full of poor sports. But hey, I think Peter Roebuck is an excellent cricket writer, so what would I know.
posted by wilful at 5:12 PM on August 15, 2005


Not sure about getting rid of Jones, wilful, but if Pietersen has dropped an ungodly number of catches and is already being referred to in these parts as "the man who drew the third test".

The thing that really impressed me was not just how evenly matched the teams were, but also how well matched the captains were. Both Ponting and Vaughan had great games, and after a succession of earnest but lacklustre English captains, we finally have someone who can challenge the best.

Wish I had an Oval ticket, but the good ones are already up to £850/pair on eBay. I did have a Lords ticket, but it was for the day it rained and I didn't bother going. I am already cursing my lack of commitment.
posted by Hogshead at 6:01 PM on August 15, 2005


Great series! Mighty English team, have looked very impressive after an ordinary beginning. Can't wait for the next game!

PS -- the umpire's decision is final, and the troll about shooting the innocent is contemptible. Show a little sportsmanship, please.
posted by Wolof at 6:30 PM on August 15, 2005


England has set a new low in sportsmanship.

Whinging Poms Aussies.
posted by holgate at 6:31 PM on August 15, 2005


BTW, DirtyCreature, Australians have never ever massacred anyone in cold blood, have we?
posted by wilful at 8:59 PM on August 15, 2005


Nearly every test has a bad umpiring decision or two - for better or worse, that's part of the way the game happens; saying "we'd have won if only X wasn't/was given out" is always a little pointless, unless there's some obvious bias or extremely substandard umpiring. What IS worth compaining about is the idiotic, attention-seeking gesticulations of umpire Billy Bowden - a man who seems to think that he's more interesting and important than the game at which he's officiating.
posted by bunglin jones at 10:59 PM on August 15, 2005


I'm still waiting for DirtyCreature to enter a thread with something of a positive nature to add to the discussion. Naysayer, not troll, but just as usefulless.
It has been a rivetting series, happily heard via LiveFive late at night over the internet.

But I hope England wins the series not only because they have a first rate side but because the antics of the unsporting opposition, particularly Warne the tosser, has been an embarrassment for years to those of us who simply like to see the contest. It would be a fitting slap in the face to a smug team. And I'm an Aussie. But nevertheless I look forward to the next Test and hope it has half as much quality as we've seen already.
posted by peacay at 11:03 PM on August 15, 2005


..or is that FiveLive...always forget
posted by peacay at 11:07 PM on August 15, 2005


Is DirtyCreature posting while drunk? I'm an Indian and I found that Jalianwala Bagh reference simply fucking hilarious in a thread about cricket.

And I spat out water at the monitor when he talked about "sportsmanship" of the English team when Australia has the worst reputation for sledging in international cricket. Heck, Steve Waugh once said that it was a legitimate cricket strategy and should not be banned.


(And Gyan, we've won only one final out of the last twenty we've played. There is something seriously wrong in our team DNA. Maybe it's because our players are too tired after doing all those money-making commercials.)
posted by madman at 11:22 PM on August 15, 2005


I have absolutely nothing of a positive nature to add to this discussion. I just watched the highlights again and the Manchester crowd's behaviour was even more disgusting than I first thought. I forgot to mention "widely booing batsmen as they walked in and off the ground".

I'm all for stiff aggressive competition but England's traditional card of blaming the behaviour of crowds and the opposition whenever they get a flogging can now, without remorse, be officially "stuffed down their gobs".

I'm an Indian and I found that Jalianwala Bagh reference simply fucking hilarious in a thread about cricket.

I'm so impressed that you can get a laugh out of the unjustified shooti..... No wait, DC. Back off. It's just not worth it.
posted by DirtyCreature at 11:37 PM on August 15, 2005


Maybe it's because our players are too tired after doing all those money-making commercials.

Yeah madman, it's the commercials that stop you winning finals. Nothing to do with the match fixing!

I watched the entire first session last night and there was nothing wrong with the crowd's behaviour that I could spy.

And I agree that Billy Bowden may be a bit of a wanker, but he generally makes decent decisions. Better than Bucknor.
posted by wilful at 11:56 PM on August 15, 2005


But I hope England wins the series not only because they have a first rate side but because the antics of the unsporting opposition, particularly Warne the tosser, has been an embarrassment for years to those of us who simply like to see the contest. It would be a fitting slap in the face to a smug team. And I'm an Aussie. But nevertheless I look forward to the next Test and hope it has half as much quality as we've seen already.

Well, cheers, but to be fair I think this Aussie side has all-but thrown off that reputation now. I think this series has been played in an exceptionally good spirit - perhaps the only blemish being the reaction to aggressive bowling, but to be honest I think this is being played up for gamesmanship a little by both sides - the aussie's concern for Strauss in this game was mainly to make a bit of a point - their attack has less pace and bounce than England's overall, so they have everything to gain by trying to make the fast bowling more "friendly". The concern didn't stop Brett Lee bowling more bouncers at Strauss - and fair play to him too!

I have really warmed to the Aussies in this series, particularly Brett Lee, who has completely turned round his image as an overcelebrating show pony, and played with fantastic heart at times. I still haven't got a lot of time for Matthew Hayden, but the rest of the side have been a great credit to their nation, and several orders of magnitude better sports than Australia under Steve Waugh.

The criticism of the crowd is rubbish - they were 99% great, and 1% arseholes - exactly the same as Aussie crowds tend to be. The only unacceptable behaviour I have seen from cricket crowds anywhere in the world is in the subcontinent, where as has been mentioned already crowds either leave en masse before the end, or rip up seats and set fires if their side isn't winning.

This has been an amazing series - wonder what odds you would have got on it still being live by the fifth test before it started? A great contest, played in great spirit between two fine sides. Wonder if they can keep up the intensity? I would have happily settled for a 3 - 2 to Aus before the start of the series, with England winning at least one test while the series was live. It's incredible to think that an England draw or win is a realistic possibility. I do fear that two tests with 10:30 starts at the very end of the season is really going to play to McGrath's strengths though. The toss is going to be really important.
posted by bifter at 3:02 AM on August 16, 2005


dirty creature

who are you? who are you?
posted by johnny novak at 3:06 AM on August 16, 2005


Yeah madman, it's the commercials that stop you winning finals. Nothing to do with the match fixing!

wilful, I'm not sure if you caught it, but I was referring to the Indian cricket team that Gyan talked about in his post (and since I addressed him, I thought it was obvious.)

DirtyCreature

I'm so impressed that you can get a laugh out of the unjustified shooti

I got a laugh at your attempt to drag an atrocity from nearly a century ago into a thread on cricket, as if it had any relevance to this series. It was almost textbook ad hominem. That was very amusing, to me at least. (Imagine me arguing that the Aussie team is full of savages because their ancestors massacred aborigines many years ago. Yeah, this was just as silly.)
posted by madman at 3:56 AM on August 16, 2005


They don't like it up 'em.
posted by vbfg at 7:44 AM on August 16, 2005


In the Third test, when Brett Lee stunned (iforgetbutoneoftheopeningbatsmen) the first thing he did was make sure he was okay.

I noticed this too, but has anyone noticed the massive change in tone in the series between the two teams as the series has progressed? They were ready to throw balls at eachother in the first test, but after the heroic performances of Warne, McGrath (intially), Lee, Ponting; and Flintoff, Jones, and Vaughan (eventually); it is stunningly obvious that considerable mutual respect has grown between these two sides. If Flintoff knocks someone, he pauses, looks on in a wry smile; but I swear to God part of him is checking to see if the batsman is okay. I think the sportsmanship has been commendable. Ponting was man of the match in the last test: we know who decides.

I can't believe so much negativity has been brought to such an overwhelmingly positive series; but I guess it is apt given the content of the first link. I guess DirtyCreature makes more of a point about the cultural impact of bodyline than anything else, even if it is inadvertant.
posted by nthdegx at 4:48 PM on August 16, 2005


nthdegx writes "I swear to God part of him is checking to see if the batsman is okay"

I have to say that this made me smile. I don't doubt it of course. But argument based on wishful thinking is just hollow supposition. But thanks for the laugh.
posted by peacay at 9:21 PM on August 16, 2005


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