We were bad, then we were good for a bit, what are we now?
THE waiting is over.
One of the world’s greatest sporting contests, the Ashes, begins today in Cardiff.
And even if you do not care about cricket, you have to care about the Ashes.
Since when were Ashes tests staged at neutral venues?
Holding the first test in Wales is the equivalent of Australia kicking off the next series in Papua New Guinea.
However that minor gripe aside, this has all the makings of great series, with an outcome more aligned to the 2005 series than the 2006/07 series (a series that most Englishman have understandably forgotten).
On form Australia are much better, but England are in the strange situation of being at least as strong on paper.
If Freddie Flintoff plays at his 2005 best then England have a great chance.
But that is a big if – England have done better without Flintoff than with him since 2005.
This series for Flintoff draws similarities with Michael Owen’s recent transfer to Manchester United, with a former hero hoping for one last triumphant series on the biggest stage to decide if he is remembered as one of the greats or a waste of potential.
2005 was the greatest cricket has ever been and the fear exists that the game will never be quite that good again.
Above all else the series needs to be close and compelling, getting the crowds and the nation behind the team, the series and the sport.