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Poms well and truly 'tonked'

Oliver Brett | 08:54 UK time, Friday, 24 November 2006

ob66.jpgA motor company has enlisted the services of Matthew Hayden in a campaign called "Tonk a Pom".

Every time an Australian batsman hits a four or a six, the replay screen shows Hayden smashing a ball and gazing into the distance.

It has happened 67 times in all, but in truth there has been no need for any gimmicks for people to understand the miserable plight of England after two days at Brisbane.

tonk.jpgThe tourists have so far had one good session, between lunch and tea on Friday, when four Australian wickets fell.

But the rest of the match has, frankly, been frighteningly one-sided.

If anyone was in any doubt about how much losing the Ashes meant to Australia, they needed to be in the ground when Glenn McGrath bowled his hat-trick ball to Paul Collingwood.

The noise was enough for your eardrums to feel physical pain, but presumably only if you were rooting for England.

At lunch, with Australia 427-4, England were already in something of a tight spot.

Credit to Andrew Flintoff, who took the one wicket to fall in the session, but the rest of the England seamers - generally underbowled this year - were really just trying to find their radar before the second Test starts.

After lunch there was a glimmer of something.

Matthew Hoggard removed Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist in an over, Steve Harmison shifted Shane Warne with a lifter and James Anderson's reverse swing was too much for Michael Clarke.

But the almost upbeat mood of England's supporters was spoilt when an officially endorsed song blared out from the speakers at tea.

To the tune of Tight Fit's 1982 hit The Lion Sleeps Tonight, the song pokes fun at the Barmy Army and the chorus line is a predictable "Whinging Poms, Whinging Poms..."

convicts203.jpgMeanwhile, the Barmy Army, who booed that terrible ditty, are still upset about an incident on Thursday when their lone bugler had his trumpet confiscated moments after putting his lips to his instrument.

Several leading officers in the Army have boycotted today's action in protest.

Even Sir Elton John is reported to have cancelled a scheduled concert at the weekend, saying his interest in coming to watch the Test had been "diluted" by England's poor performance on day one.

Nor is everything hunkydory for the Aussie fans, despite their team's position.

Unusually strict security measures are in place at the Gabba, and all bags have to be left outside the ground.

That has led to delays getting into the ground, and anything bordering on over-the-top celebration - tossing beach balls around, Mexican waves and so on - has also been clamped down on.

Throughout the course of the first two days, swallows have darted aimlessly under the canvas canopy stretched over the highest rows of seats at the Gabba.

England have been equally aimless here, and unless Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell can each score big centuries on Saturday, it might only be a matter of time before they are released from their torment.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:25 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Conor wrote:

Just want to say that its a great shame the commentary is only available online to listeners in the UK... am a student in Dublin, eager to keep up with the action, but am restricted to the live text updates. Shame.

  • 2.
  • At 12:27 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Duncan wrote:

We have lost the intiative in so many ways. Picking Giles instead of Panesar must have buoyed the Australians who knew straght away that we were defensive minded. Harmison is a waste of space - if he cannot peak for an Ashes series he should be removed at the first opportunity and replaced with someone who cares. And as for Giles laughable upbeat comments .......

  • 3.
  • At 12:45 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Ant wrote:

The reason why Harmy is bowling rubbish is because being honest he isnt a particular great bowler. Plunkett is a great bowler and is not playing.

As a Durham fan we all thought Mark Davies was England bound but he has been injured.

Bring them home now.. save them from embarrassment..

After the ashes were won last year. england have revelled in the glory and have not progressed, the australians went home with their tails between their legs, have clearly learnt from their mistakes, got rid of the complacency and are clearly not going to allow England to get a stranglehold on the game

  • 5.
  • At 12:51 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Shmick wrote:

Those Aussies are clearly the best team in the world.

England will do well to keep up with them.

  • 6.
  • At 12:54 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Oliver Brett wrote:

Conor. You're right it is a pity about the commentary situation. Here in Australia, by the way, there is also no live audio online, even from the Aussie broadcasters!

Ant. Yes I remember thinking Mark Davies was the part but then he missed the whole of the summer just gone. Do you know what the latest is with him?

  • 7.
  • At 01:34 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • vinod kumar wrote:

It is a shame for the site giving only importance for the residential people (U.K)only... Please note that even outside U.K that there are other people who are still alive regarding the online listeners in U.k

  • 8.
  • At 01:35 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Joanna wrote:

Oliver, I am British just moved to Australia and I'm at work listening to ABC sport which has streamilend the cricket....I only found this out due to a friendly Aussie colleague!

  • 9.
  • At 01:46 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jonathan wrote:

Wonderful to hear the TMS boys back on air. Not so wonderful about the score!
Just wanted to introduce a new listener to the world, my beautiful 3 day old daughter Daisy.
She's crying at the moment. I'v just shown her the scorecard on the computer.
Love from Jonathan in Camden Lndon
(and of course Daisy) x

  • 10.
  • At 01:49 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jonathan wrote:

Wonderful to hear the TMS boys back on air. Not so wonderful about the score!
Just wanted to introduce a new listener to the world, my beautiful 3 day old daughter Daisy.
She's crying at the moment. I'v just shown her the scorecard on the computer.
Love from Jonathan in Camden Lndon
(and of course Daisy) x

  • 11.
  • At 02:04 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • James wrote:

I agree about it being a shame not to hear the UK commentary - am stuck in an office in Australia.
I think it was a mistake to make Flintoff captain. If a batsman was captain then Flintoff would have opened the bowling this morning and we might have got a few quick wickets.

  • 12.
  • At 02:12 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Darren wrote:

$20 is the face value of some of the tickets at The Gabba so although the tout may have been selling them cheap, they were probably not below face value.

An £8 ticket at Lords, The Oval or Old Trafford? Having a laugh, obviously - another example of 'Rip Off Britain' ?

  • 13.
  • At 02:45 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Oliver Brett wrote:

Joanna and Timbo

Thanks for that mention about ABC (though it won't help Conor in Dublin, because it's exclusive to Australia).

I have it on now...


The tout I mentioned said he was definitely selling BELOW face value. I think one ticket was going for just $10.

It's amazing when you think how desirable Ashes tickets have been for months

  • 14.
  • At 02:46 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Saumil wrote:

Harmison is over rated as a bowler. He is bowling wides which has nothing to do with lack of bowling. In any case apart from one good series against a mediocre West Indies team, Harmison has harldy made any impact.

England will do good to draw the match from here. Otherwise Glen McGrath's prediction of a 5-0 whitewash is on the cards.

  • 15.
  • At 03:11 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Nicolas Fils de Jeffer wrote:

Agreed about Harmison. Since his period of dominance against a poor West Indies side in 2004 he has continually disappointed and gone missing in tough situations. When the going is tough he is certainly not the man for the occasion.

  • 16.
  • At 03:26 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • annabelle wrote:

The strangest thing really is that you Pommies actually thought you were a chance of winning. Sad when you think about it.

  • 17.
  • At 03:35 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jonathan Harris wrote:

Agreed on the commentary thing. In America, no bbc and no abc commentary. No SW radio to listen to on BBC World Service. Someone has to try harder to get some form of commentary to the masses outside of the UK and Oz.

Anyway, to the cricket, come on England, great test so far, lets hope the series is even half as good as last years, and more importantly that both sides play it in the spirit that they did last time around. That to me was the best part of the whole series.

  • 18.
  • At 03:50 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • David wrote:

I to, am stunned buy Fletcher leaving out Monty.
This is such a negative move. And to put Giles in just in case he chips in with the odd 30 runs is desperate. The series may have been lost already by this completely hopeless move.
I don't think I have ever heard the Aussies saying to McGrath ove the last few years "come on Glen, you need to get your batting average up, or you might get dropped". Monty is a number 11 and does not require an average of 20. He does however need to take wickets, which he has done well since debut, against quailty batsmen. Giles simply does not turn the ball enough to be classed as a spinner. KP was getting more turn and bounce yesterday.

  • 19.
  • At 04:08 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • nicknewyork wrote:

this is a bit of a 'hail mary' - but does anyone out there know how I can listen to the tests live in USA? Am living in New York, and its killing me not being able to turn the radio on...A couple of aussie pubs in the city have it on directtv - but 25 nights in the pub in the next 7 weeks is going to kill me!

  • 20.
  • At 04:39 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • gareth wrote:

i must agree that giles was a poor choice. It proves to me that england are a little scared of the aussi side and 'played safe' with a bowler who could hit an extra 20 runs, instead of going for the inform monti. True Giles has given us a wicket, but head to head, monti would bowl him off the park.

  • 21.
  • At 04:59 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Kenny Robertson wrote:

I'm Scottish, live in Melbourne, never been to a cricket match before and I'm off to the Boxing Day test, managed to get 8 tickets with my English mates no bother, can't wait, cmon Ingaland!!!

  • 22.
  • At 05:04 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Kenny Robertson wrote:

I'm Scottish, live in Melbourne, never been to a cricket match before and I'm off to the Boxing Day test, managed to get 8 tickets with my English mates no bother, can't wait, cmon Ingaland!!!

  • 23.
  • At 05:09 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

Ahh dear old England. They scrape through a fantastic ashes series winning 2-1 and assume that they will then progress to be world's No1 cricket nation in short order. Now England find their reality shattered and once again on the defence in the first of 5 test matches on Aussie soil. I suggest everyone in England break out the video's of the last ashes series and watch them instead of watching the destruction of the English team in the hot Aussie summer. Although there will be flashes of brilliance for England, they will no doubt advise the gents at Lords that the ashes were....lost in transit, by the airline! R.I.P English cricket.

  • 24.
  • At 05:11 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • matt in bend,oregon,USA wrote:

You should check out for ' unofficial' commentary. A couple of Indian dudes describing play from a studio somewhere !
Works for me and is free !

  • 25.
  • At 05:16 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Oliver Brett wrote:


Melbourne is a great city. I loved it when I was there four years ago. Went to the second and third days of the 2002-03 Test, and although we were beaten it was just a wonderful atmosphere.

  • 26.
  • At 05:17 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Claire wrote:

As a Nottingham lass now living in Australia, it is killing me not being able to listen to BBC coverage over here. I had to turn ABC live streaming off yesterday - could not tolerate any more Pom bashing.

Top marks for text coverage though..

Flaming galahs - sort it out England!

  • 27.
  • At 05:38 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Paul Hobcraft wrote:

I just love the fig leaf "England fight back". Lets be honest we are being pasted around the ground at all levels of Australian batting. Clark has already 38 n.o and do Australia feel they have a "wobbly" batting line up lower down. Not with our bowling
Can we survive Warne next for three days?
The usual back to the wall English spirit and yet another claim of an "English fight back"
We should have NEVER got into this position in the first place. Bowlers half fit, lacking regular bowling just should NEVER go into a test match of this importance
We should be looking at the selection process to ensure we get an objective balance back into it

Says a lot about England's bowlers even the Aussie tale enders are pasting them!!!

  • 29.
  • At 05:53 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • aminotbuff wrote:


you can try might cost you but you can actually watch it, not just listen.

  • 30.
  • At 06:02 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • David Holmes wrote:

Well Australia has just declared on day 2 for 600.

  • 31.
  • At 06:09 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Tom Prince wrote:

I want to echo the comment made by the Dubliner,

I live in Japan and was looking forward to listening live on bbc the same as I did last year.

Its pure greed that you do this, as soon as something becomes popular the money men spoil it for the real fans.

Its the same as when sky outbid channel 4 for cricket now yer average granny (well mine actually) cant watch it ^ unless she goes down the pub.

Japan has sky supplying premeier football etc but no cricket.

shame on u money men!!

  • 32.
  • At 06:14 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Stephen Burt wrote:

No commentry even on Short Wave to those living overseas - disgraceful. Perhaps the BBC could re think it or put a commentry on WORLDSPEACE satellite radio.

The Vicar

  • 33.
  • At 06:29 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

Hearing the doom-mongers saying the same things as they were before the last ashes series makes me chuckle.

England have had a poor couple of days and definately given the initiative to Australia in this test.

After losing the toss on a good pitch that takes spin England were always going to have a hard time of this match, saving a draw would be considered a result.

It still remain highly likely England can play out a draw, if we can build some big partnerships. Perfectly possible on the pitch at the moment. The biggest challenge will be on day 5 on a spinning pitch vs Warne.

Don't write England off like everyone was last time. England need to raise their game, and I am pretty sure we will see some flashes of brilliance from both sides this test series.

  • 34.
  • At 06:30 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

Why, oh why, oh why, can we not hear live online commentary from the BBC if we are outside of the UK, it's hard enough trying to find out what's going on outside of your own neighbourhood living in the US, let alone the world! The BBC is the best source of world news and real sports like cricket and football.

Disgruntled from San Francisco!

  • 35.
  • At 06:33 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Lordy wrote:

check out stanjames at the website for studio commentary ashley metcalf (former yorks captain) and co.
I'm in the US and it's the only place you can listen to it.
I was expecting Boycs, Blowers and aggers, bbc sort it out! this is stupid? why did I pay for a license for all those years????

  • 36.
  • At 06:58 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Colin wrote:

You are a fully fledged member of the "I can't spell WHINGEING" club.

  • 37.
  • At 06:59 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Ric Sims wrote:

I agree with Conor from Dublin. I live in Sweden and got up at 3am to listen to the TMS commentary. Since UK residents can receive TMS on the terrestrial radio network it is precisely the non-UK constituency that the web broadcast serves.

I hope this situation can be rectified as soon as possible. The chance of Swedish broadcasters recognising the existence of cricket is currently more remote than England winning this first test.

  • 38.
  • At 07:07 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Dr Sudip Bhaduri wrote:

I have said this many times on 5 live and blog boards- England scraped past Aussie 2-1( and it was a scrape to be fair) then receive OBES with an open top bus parade! The Aussie wounded tigers will never forget- well done coach Fletcher for giving the Ashes back- they pick injury prone or half injured players physically and mentally, they then leave out" the best finger spinner in the world"( fletcher's comments) and play that Wheelie Bin again whose comments last night were just said to save HIS FACE and yep a match winning 1-91 for Giles again!! ( test bowling average of 40!!) and Harmison will moan about home sickness soon ( mark my words)- this team wil go one down but this time there will be no coming back- not on aussie soil- we should have sent a message on Day one with Panesar playing and our fast bowlers being accurate- its will be hell for all supporters now! i do feel sorry for those who have spent a fortune- i hope i do hope i am proven wrong - but my nickname here has been Gypsy Rose!

  • 39.
  • At 07:12 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Chrissy Boy wrote:

As I pom exhiled here in sunny Sydney and all I can say is that the English players are an absolute embarrasment. I did not go into the Brisbane test looking for a victory but I do expect to hold my head up high. We should be competing, if we can't we should bring them back home. 48 for 3 at the moment and I am ashamed to be English.

Then we see a shot of the pavilion and all the players bar Freddy are having a good old laugh. I reckon they are here for the sun and the beer rather than the cricket. They should be sent back home (on a long long boat ride)

  • 40.
  • At 07:13 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Ralph Brooker wrote:

Is this the start of the Kevin Shine Era? Or just the end of Troy Cooley's. This England attack will fire up at least twice on this tour. Don't write England off yet.

  • 41.
  • At 07:14 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • ian gerstein wrote:

I'm in Hong Kong about to go home, it has been very frustrating not being able to listen,can we not get an official BBC comment on this site?The ECB web site tells you nothing.
I think Fletcher wanted to draw this game, hence Giles, at this rate we're heading for an innings defeat.

  • 42.
  • At 07:25 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Julian wrote:

Tonk the Poms is an interesting marketing strategy for an international motor company. I wonder how Ford UK and their prospective customers feel about that one.

  • 43.
  • At 07:37 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Mick wrote:

Couple of issues. Harmison is waste of resource. He should have been dropped and Plunkett or Lewis should have been picked instead. Dalrimple would have been another good shout. He can ball (turn it as well) and good bat . Giles is a line & lenght baller my 10 year old son turns the ball more that what that wheely bin does, England should have taken the risk by giving Panesar a chance. Yes we would have gone for runs but Aussies would have came after him to prove a point. Pitersen - i think that boy needs a to start playing on the on side. Easy way to get him out - Put few players on the leg side and keep the ball on his mid & leg stump.

  • 44.
  • At 07:40 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • tarantini wrote:

I'm based in Madrid and understand the frustration of those highlighting the lack of commentary as this applies to current affairs as well as sports.

I understand that the problem stems from the decison of the European Commission to oblige broadcasters to have a valid licence for each of the countries to which they broadcast. Even for a company the size of the BBC, the cost is prohibitive and the administration impractical.

Once again the European Commission has at a stroke introduced tariffs which discourage competition, suppressed free speech and flown in the face of both progress, both cultural and technological. Quite a feat, really.

And don't get me started on the Bosman ruling..

  • 45.
  • At 07:44 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Niccky HUngerford wrote:

do you know - there is no internet streaming of cricket in Thailand.
so here i am trying to have a wonderful ashes and all i can do is get "live score updates" on line
signed distressed

  • 46.
  • At 07:58 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Uwe Junge wrote:

Let's face it - The Ashes may well belost before Christmas, i.e. after the tird Test ...

  • 47.
  • At 08:04 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • brian ducker wrote:

I have watched Ashes since 1972, the year I came to OZ from the UK.It seems to me that England do not realise that the Ashes for Australia is war not sport whereas for England it is merely sport.It is in effect a cathartic experience to remedy historical wrongs.

To beat Australia in Australia you need talent but most opf all you need controlled anger.The Aussies are bullies on the field and masters of intimidation.The only time England wins is when an aggressive captain is backede up by hostile fast bowling.

England has freddy but you need to fire up Harmison to get the batsmen fearing fortheir lives.You will know the strategy is working when the media start whingeing about English tactics.

It may not work but at least you will win respect.For all English supporters in Oz if England goes down then go down with guns blazing.

  • 48.
  • At 08:07 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • glad-min wrote:

Unfortunately england have fallen into the usual hype as I have been seeing it for over the past 35 years. We win a title and immediately toot on about being the best in the world forever. In the cricket last year England did raise their game and won the ashes but we were not the best in the world despite the open top parade. The same goes for the rugby to leave your mark you have to keep winning and winning and winning the occaisional hiccup is allowed the germany team of the 80's and 90's is an example. The all Blacks at rugby and the west Indies crcket team in the 70's and the aussies in the late 80's and 90's. England will not win a test in Oz bescause one swallow does not make a summer.

  • 49.
  • At 08:15 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Julia Wilson wrote:

Here Iam exiled in Melbourne already feeling besieged and then I have to put up with the 'Tonk a Pom' campaign! It's hard to believe it isn't some kind of joke. Come on Pietersen and Bell!


  • 50.
  • At 08:16 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Faustino wrote:

Still tickets available for day five. If Bell & KP get big hundreds tomorrow I might get some ...

On an ancient brighter note, I was at a Gabba test when Tavare was crawling painfully along and my St James' Park volume cry of "Come back Boycott, all is forgiven!" raised a laugh.

Well, we have our memories of 2005 to keep us going.

  • 51.
  • At 08:21 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Dingac wrote:

The Aussies got after Harmison, we should be getting after McGrath.......but once a total is built. Look at the rugby...Phil Waugh billed as the tough guy was flattened/outclassed by Best & has now been dropped.

Day 3 could be interesting if Bell doesn't hang around and Pietersen is gone by lunch. Then again, if we're still batting at lunch on Day 4 the Aussies might reget such a big least if the game finishes early the Aussies will be able to watch replays of their rugby pals being tonked by the Irish!

  • 52.
  • At 08:21 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Bede Key wrote:

I work in Bangkok for an NGO working in community based natural resourse management. Did you know an area of forest the size of Venezuala has been lost around the world in last 10 years or so... now on a more serious note, we're getting hammered and I can't listen to it on TMS... I found a site which gives a commentary but they don't tell you what they had for tea... no fun... if you want to remind yourself of the quality of TMS visit ... the second placed commentary is also worth listening too... the last 37 seconds of the rugby world cup... come on us POMS

  • 53.
  • At 08:36 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Dr Ron Sinclair wrote:

I tried to warn English supporters about what might happen here and now, unfortunately for them, it is coming all too predictably true. Barring miracles, the first test is lost already. You would have to bat twice for a long, long time just to avoid defeat. That, in itself, would be a victory of sorts. One of the problems England has is the lack of mental toughness of some of its side. Harmison gets homesick, for heavens sake, on a tour every English cricketer should die to be on. Panesar sees a psychologist in case the Aussie crowd sledges him, thus guaranteeing it will. Can you imagine Ray Illingworth doing that?! Then there was Trescothick's destabilising exit. Add to these psychological woes the fact that no team can lose a batsman and leader as capable as Vaughan, and a bowler of the class of Simon Jones without seriously diminishing its prospects. Oblivion awaits England in Brisbane I fear, especially when Warne is let loose on a pitch that looks as if it will crack up later.

i think we are goin to win

  • 55.
  • At 08:39 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • NIGEL MURPHY wrote:

England were lucky to win the Ashes 14-months ago and I think it went to their head. The only bowler who is in form is back in the dressing room. They miss Jones and Vaughan desperately but even fully fit and in form I think they would lose 3-1 this time in this shape the 6/1 odds for a 5-0 whitewash (I believe the aussies call it five-gub mate) looks generous. Bond and Panesar have to come in for the second test, meanwhile innings defeat becons in this.

  • 56.
  • At 08:43 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Mr.Clog wrote:

I think that so far Austraillia have shown more consistancy and experiance of playing at this level.

It doesnt help that england almost have a completly different bowling line up to in the Champs Trophy and that hardly any of the bowlers have bowled at the top level recently and Austraillia have had a consistant team all the way through.

I think we need to bring in Monty, (event though he didnt bowl at the champions trophy) instead of Giles who hasnt bowled at all. Then bring in Saj Mahmood to see what he can do on these wickets. Maybe Stuart Broad would be good or John Lewis also. James Anderson should stay.


  • 57.
  • At 08:45 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Anthony wrote:

Why am I reading things like "as a pom living here in australia" and "come on us pom's" ? Have some self respect man and stop calling yourselves a pom. It only further massages a certain peoples ego's.

  • 58.
  • At 08:46 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • ed wrote:

although Australia's total (9/602 dec.) was unbelivably good, england now arguably have time on their hands. Only three days left.

If Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen bat patiently and play for time (for bell this will come naturally but pietersen will have to work on it), then england good be in a good position even if they get bowled out for 400 etc. They will have avoided the follow on and will probably just have to survive a dy and a half. This shouldn't be too tricky.

  • 59.
  • At 08:49 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Gary Roberts wrote:

Oliver you can listen on-line at

  • 60.
  • At 08:52 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Chaddywaddy wrote:

We need the Pratt factor. England seem to be a better team when we have Gary as the sub. fielder.

Get him out and quick.

OK, this may seem silly, but statistics don't lie. It worked this summer and last. Why can't it work in Australia?

  • 61.
  • At 09:00 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • needmyhedred wrote:

As an Aussie i'm embarrassed that the barmy army trumpeter was ejected. I hope the idiot who made that decision gets evicted himself.
The Barmy Army make a considerable contribution to the pleasure of watching the game

  • 62.
  • At 09:02 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • MikeK wrote:

Hope this means your pretenders have to give their OBEs back.

  • 63.
  • At 09:05 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Laurie Lesley wrote:

England are hopeless ..without Flintoff it would be an embarresment.

I have never seen an England side so nervous when then come in to bat.

We are going to get crucified ..No bottle...Say goodbye to the ashes

Pom living in Australia for 30 years

  • 64.
  • At 09:06 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Bruno Araujo wrote:

What a change in tone from oliver brett's hilariously OTT post yesterday heavy with embarassing optimism. Maybe he kept off the beer yesterday. I hope the players have woken up to the fact that this is not 2005, Aus are not over the hill and giving them a one test head-start is calamitous.

  • 65.
  • At 09:06 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • stan wrote:

Maybe a 5-0 whitewash won't be such a bad idea. Eng have made way too much of these "ashes". Every game they've played (test/ODI) prior to Thursday has been about the "ashes".
You deserve a 5-0 drubbing just for the way you celebrated the 2-1 win last season.
It was like you'd won the football worldcup (as if...)!

  • 66.
  • At 09:08 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • AndrewN wrote:

Keep the faith. Of course this is bad and the best we can hope for is a draw, but lest we forget that valiant efforts of 2005.

For the first time in 18 years we are defending the Ashes title! We should get behind the boys and believe that we can pull off a good peformance. We now know these Aussies are not invincible. Plus can you remember the headlines after Lords?

To quote Admiral Lord Nelson... "England expects every man to do his duty!" We need to play to our potential and remember that we're Englishman and by good we should be proud of it!


  • 67.
  • At 09:11 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • eswaran wrote:

I cannot believe that Agnew and others are in favour of Giles vs Panesar, I also cannot believe the plaudits awarded to Giles for yesterday

He did nothing special, on that pitch he should have had much more success, the ball was not only turning but bouncing

Nevertheless for the next match , I would leave out Anderson for Panesar and play two spinners

  • 68.
  • At 09:15 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • tcb wrote:

Mental toughness is the missing ingredient. Oz has tons of it, Pom's still shopping for it!

  • 69.
  • At 09:16 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Adam wrote:

Hahaha loved that article about the Barmy Army...

Typical response as well - whinge whinge whinge!

  • 70.
  • At 09:17 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Emsee wrote:

To Conor from Dublin, you can hear the live Ashes commentary at

  • 71.
  • At 09:18 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Ammon Cheskin wrote:

everyone who is complaining about not getting audio streaming outside of the UK... remember you haven't paid for a licence like we have.

  • 72.
  • At 09:18 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jan Arriens wrote:


This morning I woke up and pressed the button on my bedside radio just in time to hear that Australia had declared. All I wanted was the scorecard so that I could turn over and go back to sleep.

What followed instead was 10 minutes of blather and then, as the Australians were coming out onto the field, a reading of the scorecard as a kind of afterthought that was too quick for the details to be taken in.

Is my memory playing tricks, or did it always use to be the case that the scorecard would be read straight after an innings closed? I thought the failure to do so was irritating and unprofessional.

I did not manage to go back to sleep, which is probably why I am so grumpy.

Jan Arriens
Fowlmere nr. Cambridge

  • 73.
  • At 09:21 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Handel wrote:

u poms are a complete joke.
I'm just waiting for the "yeah, well.. we beat you guys in the last ashes series"

  • 74.
  • At 09:21 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Tom Hill wrote:

Why does the media go so easy on Anderson ?
He is a consistant failure at test level, a flambuoyant failure I will concede, but it takes more than coloured hair and an infectious grin surely.
Harmison has delivered many times yet when he fails its knives out. He has still returned better figures than Anderson!

being an australian, it's great to see us tacle the game with relish. but i think 'whinging pom...' ditty is in pretty poor taste and i find it embarassing. fortunately the poms have pretty thick skin and take it in good fun. i wonder if we would be so charitable if something similar was being sung about us?

  • 76.
  • At 09:26 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • ollie p wrote:


Stop the pain, it hurts sssooooo much!!!!

Panesar over Giles any day.

  • 77.
  • At 09:26 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Can you imagine the sledging when Jones and Giles go out to bat: "So you're in the team to make runs are you?" (or words to that effect!)

Giles also demonstrated yesterday another reason why he has been selected, his ability to spout unrealistic cliched rubbish at the end of a days play!

  • 78.
  • At 09:29 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Mel Evans wrote:

Looks like England are well and truly XXXX'ed know what I maine?

  • 79.
  • At 09:34 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Oliver Brett wrote:


We can't win can we? Either we are doom-mongerers, or overly opimtistic? I certainly thought there was scope for England to have a decent day today, especially with the bat.

One poor shot triggered two further wickets...

  • 80.
  • At 09:35 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Tony Bates wrote:

The England management should remember that there is more to captaincy than tattoos and broard shoulders

  • 81.
  • At 09:37 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Adam wrote:

Rohan Stevenson... what, like when Kiwis and Saffas call us "Stupid Aussies"?
Water off a ducks back mate, and if the Poms can't take the stick, then they're out of their depth!
Fortunately, they are good natured and lots of fun. Shame they whinge so much though.

  • 82.
  • At 09:40 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • john wrote:

When you play Australia you can not afford passengers, no matter how good the potential. Harmison needs to pull his socks up, don't wet nurse him. I am sick to death of hearing he had a bad day. Brett Lee is the way he is because he sweats blood to get people out, whereas Harmison saunters around the pitch as if he does not care! I am sick of hearing its a matter of time before he comes good. No passengers. Get rid of him. Strauss was out irresponsibly again as well! Take the fight to the Aussies, nerves should be replaced with aggression and controlled anger, they are laughing at us but they hate it when we do it to them. (Ponting last year)

  • 83.
  • At 09:41 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • steviehull wrote:

Don't know what everyone is worrying about.
We have Geraint 'Gilchrist' Jones and Ashley 'Brian Lara' Giles at number 7 and 8.

Remember these guys have been picked for their 'batting abilities' so I am sure they will both get double centuries and guide England to 840-6 declared. Then Giles will take 6 wickets and Jones 4 stumpings.

  • 84.
  • At 09:45 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Ian, Brisbane wrote:

Just got back from the test. Despite todays performance enjoyed chatting to Gabba members sat beside me. What a shame the 'Whinge away whine away whinge away' song was played at tea which was deservedly booed by the barmy army and made my australian colleagues embarressed.

Australia; a lovely but extremely insecure country. take away the weather and their ain t much there... yakka aussie blokes 'who can shout the loudest comps' she lll be right... oi oi oi.... state funeral for steve irwin ? sums it up really

From an expat based in Brisvegas

  • 85.
  • At 09:51 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Keith wrote:

Now is the time to ring Ant and Dec and scream "I'm a Celebrity(not a cricketer)Get me out of here"

  • 86.
  • At 09:52 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Thomas Smalley wrote:

Its all so depressing isn't...all this sitting up all night and then working from 6-12 and then sleeping through the afternoon just to watch "tonk a pom" in full flow

  • 87.
  • At 09:55 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Trevor Whalley wrote:

England did not play enough warm-up matches prior to the first test so it will take time for them to adjust.
If somehow we can get out of this match with a hard earned draw it will do us so much good.
To all you "new" England fans who started following cricket in 2005 "welcome to the real world of Test cricket".

  • 88.
  • At 09:56 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jon Mann wrote:

When Geoffrey Boycott gave his words of wisdom (as Oz approached 600).....along the lines of lets not be too downhearted, England will probably make a similar total on this pitch.......I thought yeah right!! The number of times so called experts say that and then we promptly get bowled out for 137. Geoffrey and the rest should be honest. This Ashes seiries is as big a miss-match as you could get in any sport. Only one decent bowler, which is one more than the number of decent batsmen we have (Probably Piertesen aside tho hes more a one day hacker). Finally, to conclude my rant, the seeds for me were sown in the last ashes series, when everyone else was waxing lyrical about Flintoff when he made that century. Sounds harsh but he gave his wicket away once he passed the 3 figure. Could you see Pontin ever doing that??? To me it sums up an certain attitude/mind set, ive done enough now, why turn the screw?? That is a LOSING mindset

  • 89.
  • At 09:58 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • richard buckley wrote:

.. i cant beleive england agreed to the test match schedule 5 tests in 7 weeks is too much for a touring team, the workload on flintoff and team will take its toll, its hot and humid in brisbane and with only 3 days between tests its going to be a massive effort to lift england especially as they look like losing this first test....and being called a pom or pommie is no different from being called an aussie, its a term on endearment and isnt meant in a derogatory way.

  • 90.
  • At 09:58 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • jane perkins wrote:

Everyone knows the Australian cricket team are bad winners as they are losers so itis irrelevant to us what ever views their sports writers express.

  • 91.
  • At 10:00 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Andrian Harsono wrote:

There is very little now that can save England. Their only hope is to bat out day 3 and avoid the follow-on after which the Aussies will bat again. In this way, England can buy themselves a little bit of time and hope for a draw. However, if they cannot do the job and have to follow on, they are more or less finished for this Test. I can only hope that they will survive the onslaught tonight.

  • 92.
  • At 10:01 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Adam wrote:

So Ian, the Barmy Army can sing their songs (which are good natured, but aren't any better than the Whinge Away song), and when the Aussies make a comeback, the Barmy Army boos....
hmm, you can't have it both ways, so STOP WHINGING :)

  • 93.
  • At 10:02 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Christian wrote:

Its only 2 days out of 23. Bell and KP have been in great form and Freddie and Jones are capable of scoring tons! Its not a great start but there is a lot of cricket to be played. Why do some of you have to be like the British press and be so negative? We should be getting behind our boys not giving them a hard time. We are missing some key players against a class Aussie team on their home soil but underdogs get results. I will be out in Sydney for the 5th Test and even if it is 4-0 already which I doubt it will be I will still be singing Barmy Army and giving as much support as I can. BARMY ARMY!

  • 94.
  • At 10:03 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jezz wrote:

Just to reply to Peter, bear in mind that England could have won the ashes last year 3-1, were it not for the rain that caused all but a few hours to be lost on (was it?) day three at Old Trafford?! So its a bit unfair to say we "scraped it?!"
That series was clearly a classic, but us "pomm" supporters HAVE to put that well and truly behind us now!! SIGH!
As for slamming Steve Harmison, he was, and CAN be again a great bowler! Going back again to last year, the Michael Clarke "slower ball," showed his class!
Unfortunately, it does seem that the England team have suffered from the same complacancy that the Australian team suffered last year, and has failed abysmally to build up the momentum that should have lead to another classic series. We all have to pray that the ole "McGrath 5-0" will somehow NOT happen!!!!!

I can't believe the comment about Harmison not being a great bowler. A few months ago he was number one in the world. He is a great bowler but a great bowler out of form. If he doesn't get his form back soon admittedly he should make way for somebody else but as Botham said on about 100 occasions last night "he needs overs". One or two godd overs and it could click into place and everybody's attitude will change. I can only imagine what he is going through. Being so badly out of form, and having to run in against world class batsmen in front of 40 000 people most of whom are hoping you will get it wrong would have most people quaking in their boots. As Bumble said last night if you are a batsman out of form, you get out and then go and hide in the pavillion. As a bowler you simply can't do that.
If England manage to avoid the follow on (unlikely), or manage to bat for two days and somehow force a draw, it will be like a defeat to the Ozzies. Either way it's only the first of 5 tests. Remember Lords last year and don't sharpen the knives just yet

  • 96.
  • At 10:09 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Victor Karunairajan wrote:

Would have loved to be in Brisbane all the way from Brampton in Canada just to watch that Ponting-Hussey partnership and McGrath's delights

  • 97.
  • At 10:11 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Matt Hobbs wrote:

What's with the odd-voiced fella doing the summary bits on the online highlights?

Also, for people outside the UK wanting TMS, it might be worth checking the wikkipedia entry for 'BBC Five Live Sports Extra' and trying the link at the end of the first paragraph. I'm in the UK though, so not sure if it works in practice.

  • 98.
  • At 10:11 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Melbourne Col wrote:

there's a lot of "if's" in your post. Here's the only "if" that matters...IF you win a test this Summer you'll be very lucky.

  • 99.
  • At 10:15 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • IS, UK wrote:
There are no excuses, England are not simply good enough this year. Last year I predicted a possible upset because Australians were struggling with their form and England were at their peak with all their bowlers in form and fit. This year England have been very ordinary. They drew to Srilanka after leading. The won against Pakistan only because of a B Grade pace attack plus poor umpiring. Realistically speaking Pietersen and Cook won't get two lives everytime they bat and don't expect forfeits here.
This year my optimistic prediction for england is 4-1 to Australia. When you have a defensive batting line up with Giles in. England worry about adding extra 20-30 runs to their total rather than reducing the other team's total by couple of hundreds. Play Monty not Giles. What in the world is Collingwood doing in a team? People say he is underrated. He is way over rated. He should not be playing test cricket at all. He is a very good fielder but that doesent justify his place ina test team. A team should have a combination of youth and experience. And at 31 he is neither young nor experienced. He can score a one off century in a season to justify his claim in the team but he can never win England matches. Robert Key or Owais Shah should be playing if youth is wanted, and Butcher/Ramparksh (I know Ramparkash has been tried again and again but he is a different Ramparkash now) if experience.
  • 100.
  • At 10:16 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jon Mann wrote:

The difference is they have players who would sweat blood to win the series. We have players who cry off and go home because they're fed up. Enough said

  • 101.
  • At 10:19 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Malcolm Y wrote:

I was aghast with the hype and MBEs that followed when England won the Ashes last year. They played very well, with passion, but in truth they were lucky to sneak the victory. Nevertheless, one needs luck so good for them. I said then, that if they travel to Oz and repeat the result, then they will have earned the right to be called a great team and then be bestowed with honours. England are missing two key players: Michael Vaughn - class batsmen and superb Captain; and Simon Jones whose contribution in 4 tests in support of Flintoff was outstanding. They found a possible replacement for Simon Jones - Panesar, for crying out loud play to win. The Ozzies will love it if England err to a defensive strategy. Can you visualise Mcgrath & Warne bowling defensively? Ponting and Gilchrist, et al don't know the meaning of the word caution. They play to win. That is what makes this Oz team a truly great team. England must play Panesar, and Read, and take the immense load off Flintoff by giving the Captaincy to Strauss. At least if they do eventually lose it will be with dignity and honour by giving of they best

  • 102.
  • At 10:19 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Chris Garrett wrote:

The key to England's Ashes hopes is getting Harmison right.

At present, it is embarrasing not only for the bowler but also for the English team and supporters. And if anyone is to blame for this, it must be Fletcher.

Harmison should never have been picked until he had proven his form had returned. The management were very aware of the bowler's frailties when it comes to confidence and self belief. We are now in a situation where England may not have another chance to bowl in this first test and the second starts just a week away.

What does Fletcher do?

If Harmison is not picked for the second test, this is another sign to Australia of an English team under-prepared and demoralised. Harmison was supposed to be our key weapon. He was supposed to be the man to taunt and frighten the Aussie batsmen.

It is very embarrassing and a terrible sleight on the English management.

I would find a top hypnotherapist fast. Someone who can quickly boost Harmison's confidence and resolve through positive affirmations. Sportsmen use these techniques more and more.

So Fletcher, over to you.

  • 103.
  • At 10:21 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jon Mann wrote:

Jezz, pointing out that England may have won 3-1 if it were not for the rain is akin to saying Man Utd may have beat Celtic 9-1 had Celtic's goal been 15 yards wider. Rain delays are part of the game!!

It is with great sadness that once again the England selectors have got it wrong. Poor Steve Harmison was clearly out of sorts, did not play in the last warm up game and has demostarbly proven that he is not up to the task. Flintoff was a bowler short yesterday when it was critical to cycle the bowlers give others a rest and a full complement of fit and availabale bowlers would have allowed that. Harmison discounted himself from selection yesterday.

Australian confidence is now cock a hoop and if England get away from Brisbane without a severe mauling it will be a miracle. Once again hopes will rest on Pierterson and Flintoff who will be special targets of the Australian attack.

I really think England must regroup during this test match, accept that Steve Harmison would rather be home, oblige him and get someone else who is likely to make a much more positive contribution to the cause.

Our bowling was always going to be our weakest link, recent history has shown that, and now with the selection of Steve Harmison it is weakened even more.

Sorry Steve, but you while you are undoubtedly a great bowler, you lack the mental toughness required in the fish bowl atmosphere of Australia.


  • 105.
  • At 10:31 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Anthony Andersen wrote:

It was always going to be trouble-Australia wondering who not to pick and England with about the same lot as last time, but now weakened with loss of form and injury. Australia could pick at least two teams to easliy do the job.

  • 106.
  • At 10:38 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • matt wrote:

With the trescothick mess, read and panesar mess, the ECB need to wake up and the counties need to act together to oust Graveney, miller, Fletcher and shine.
I would choose woolmer over fletcher any day, at least our one day form would improve and monty would play.
The fat cats at central office....sounds more and more like the government are running the cricket team as well....need to WAKE up, grab the opportunity to build a proper legacy for English cricket...may be get Tom Moody, im sure he does not want to be blown up in Sri Lanka and loves England and wants the top job, I know for a fact!
There are botham and Willis who could pick a better side and motivate the slackers with their eyes shut (all be it with their boot kicked up some stressed out back sides..YES, that includes you Harmy) better than fletcher could any day.
Picking a side on a basis of he's my friend, and his friend is pretty good and his friend of a friend is pretty good is just plain arrogance gone mad!
We had this in the 90s, when it was, "my dads in charge so Im playing, and if you play for surrey or middlesex or any other team in London then your sorted!!!!!"
Its not going to wash with the fans any more.
Why on earth is shine trying to change young Broads bowling action, he is the best young bowler I have seen in a long time, anderson has been ruined, dont destroy another....get these jokers out and get Englands proper captain back ASAP.
Duncan, Im posting your one way ticket back to Harare for Fletcher.....graveney.....miller.....shine.......giles.....jones......trescothick.......anderson......!!!!!!!

  • 107.
  • At 10:41 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • andy wrote:

does it not hurt anyone else to see us get outplayed by those arragont aussies??

  • 108.
  • At 10:42 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jon Mann wrote:

IS UK (Strange name) I really have heard it all now. Apparently good old Mark "I will get 20 odd then get out" Ramprakash (who incidentally must be about 73 now) could be the saviour?? I was depressed enough at 7 this morning, now i am looking for a rope! Just when they said it couldn't get any worse !! Anyone for a Mark Ealam return?

  • 109.
  • At 10:46 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • garth wrote:

England never stood a chance! The only reason the beat the aussies the last time was because of poor decisions. England will lose the ashes again and never get them back.

  • 110.
  • At 10:48 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jon Mann wrote:

IS UK (Strange name) I really have heard it all now. Apparently good old Mark "I will get 20 odd then get out" Ramprakash (who incidentally must be about 73 now) could be the saviour?? I was depressed enough at 7 this morning, now i am looking for a rope! Just when they said it couldn't get any worse !! Anyone for a Mark Ealam return?

  • 111.
  • At 10:58 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • DonaldBratman wrote:

So many nasty anti-Australian comments here whilst we, instead, are filled with compassion for our English friends. We deeply and sincerley hope this may not turn out to be the winter of your discontent and a death by a thousand cuts. And hooks. And cover drives.


  • 112.
  • At 11:01 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

Surprisingly, given the pre series hype, England look underprepared and lacking focus. The Aussies have been away at "boot camp" in the bush being put through a series of physically and mentally demanding tasks just to prepare themselves for the Ashes. Harmison handed them the psychological initiative with the first ball - and it will take something truly spectacular to wrest that initiative back and give the Aussies something to worry about.

Too often in the past English teams have reached the pinnacle of achievement (Ashes, Rugby World Cup, football World Cup) and then relaxed. In Australia or NZ reaching the top is just the beginning - achieving lasting dominance is the real test.

  • 113.
  • At 11:26 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Owain wrote:

Once a jolly Freddie sat beside a billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he sat and waited while he took a leg guard
"No-one will ever take these Ashes from me"

No-one will take them, No-one will take them
No-one will take these Ashes from me
And he sang as he sat and waited while his billy boiled
"No-one will take these Ashes from me"

In run a Mullett delivering a short long hop,
Up jumped the Freddie and smacked him for four,
And he sang 'fifty' as he raised his bat to the crowd,
"You'll never take these Ashes from me".

You'll never take them, You'll never take them
No-one will take these Ashes from me
And he sang as he sat and waited while his billy boiled
"No-one will take these Ashes from me"

Up rode the Ponting, mounting his Glenn Mcgrath,
Down went the mulletts, one, two, three,
"Where are those Ashes you've got in your tucker bag?"
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

You'll never take them, You'll never take them
No-one will take these Ashes from me
And he sang as he sat and waited while his billy boiled
"No-one will take these Ashes from me"

Up jumped the Freddie, Smacked them into the billabong,
"You'll never get Ashes," said he,
And their ghosts may be heard as you pass by the billabong,
"We'll still be sulking Aussies on day three"

"We'll still be sulking Aussies, We'll still be sulking Aussies, We'll still be sulking Aussies on day three"
And their ghosts can be heard as you pass by the billabong,
"We'll still be sulking Aussies after test three"


  • 114.
  • At 11:28 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • james wrote:

The problem with Harmison stems back to the short-sightedness of the ECB when they refused to give Cooley a 3 year contract---it shows in the rest of the English bowlers who apart from Flintoff have all gone backwards.
At the same time Cooley has brought on the young Aussie quicks.
All Cooley was looking for was a bit of stability for his family---not a bucket load of cash

  • 115.
  • At 11:40 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • MGB Hargreaves wrote:

I wanted to write something which would give people a little hope for Day 3.
I can't think of anything, so here's a quote instead:

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.

William B. Sprague

Come On England

  • 116.
  • At 11:42 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • gilberto wrote:

I was sitting next to Billy the Trumpet (B.A. bugler) yesterday when he was kicked out for playing Neighbours and Jerusulam, the police were so OTT at the Gabba when we were singing, i thought we were there to enjoy ourselves not sit an exam in silence!

Australians were drunk & abusive and the police seemed to turn a blind eye to it!

I'm praying for some rain........

  • 117.
  • At 11:44 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • PaulM wrote:

If giles gets out cheaply in the first innings, the heat is really gonna be on Fletcher. Although i can also see it going the other way and Giles being the man at the crease when we reach the follow-on target.

Personally i dont have a great deal of faith in the second scenario and their is an argument that the follow-on target would be more attainable had Monty been playing.

On the Harmison factor; unless he gets 5 wickets in the second innings (or gets a hundred in the first hehehe) how will Fletcher justify his inclusion in the second test.

I have no doubt that fletcher will pick him, regardless of form, due to his apparent lack of faith in any of the back-up bowlers.

My personal verdict, play Broad in the next test, he can only be as bad as Harmison has been, and I also get the impression from what I've seen of him that he has the sort of personallity that enjoys a really tough battle.

Also, if Fletcher insists he needs some batting from one of his bowlers, then Dalyrmple is the man, he is arguably better in both departments on these wickets than Giles. The Austrailians have begun the offensive on Giles and unfortunatley its gonna get ugly.

  • 118.
  • At 11:46 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Rohan Naidoo wrote:

I reckon Ian Austin could be worth another go too...

  • 119.
  • At 11:59 AM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Spike Kennedy wrote:

You cannot play the Aussies with an unfit team.

  • 120.
  • At 12:00 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Locky wrote:

The irony of it all, is that last ashes series all of the English commentators were wondering where the next decent Aussie bowler would come from. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Flintoff and possibly Pieterson are the only two English players who would make the Australian team. What hope do you have? But hey, you can always talk about 95'.

  • 121.
  • At 12:09 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Tonka Pom wrote:

I am neither English nor Australian. But I live close to the English border (in Scotland) and have to say that their reaction to winning the Ashes last year was bizarre.

Let's think about this. This is a competition that happens, what, every couple of years..? There are two teams in the competition, of which England has by far the bigger population. You'd therefore expect England to win maybe 2/3rds of the time. Yet when they finally win it, once, they go ballistic..?! It's very odd. They must have very low sporting standards.

  • 122.
  • At 12:21 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Dibben wrote:

Not what i had hoped for mate. Need to drop some of the team as i think this game is already lost, mate. Itll be one-nil if we lose this match.

  • 123.
  • At 12:26 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jim Tucker wrote:

The web and broadcasting rights are wrong. Invented by Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch. I'm from Oz and living in Leicestershire (and learned how to spell it). Even here I have to listen via BBC on my 'puter. The best commentator in the world is Blowers. Broadcast begins at midnight. About 3am I take my tranny to bed and tune to ClassicFM and hear the fat lady sing.

  • 124.
  • At 12:43 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • garry newnham wrote:

Hey Annabelle whats the score so far - have the Aussies won back the Ashes - Isn't Pom racist

  • 125.
  • At 12:47 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • phil wrote:

In reply to Conor from Dublin, TMS is broadcast on Radio4 longwave (198 i think) which you can probably pick up from Ireland.

The longwave signal travels a long way. I've also been able to pick it up in most of France with no problems.

  • 126.
  • At 12:55 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • phil wrote:

..also in response to Conor from Dublin if you can't get 198LW you may be able to pick up distant medium wave signals. The signal travels further at night which will help....

London 720; Plymouth 774; Hayle (Cornwall) 756; Newcastle 603; Carlisle 1495; Aberdeen 1449; Enniskillen 774; Derry 720; Glasgow 720.

  • 127.
  • At 01:02 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jimmy R wrote:

Collingwood - Best Number 4 in the country?

  • 128.
  • At 01:14 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • James Downey wrote:

No doubt these England cricketers are professionals (they get paid) but professional they are not. The bowling (with one obvious exception) was abyssmal. The batting is farcical. With all due respect to McGrath and co, we expect openers to at least COPE or SURVIVE for a little bit of time. I have heard a lot of talk about how England lost the first test in the Ashes but won the series. The rugby team won the world cup - look at the team now. When will we hear some honesty from Fletcher and/or Flintoff - the truth is this England cricket team is probably the worst in fifty years.

  • 129.
  • At 01:19 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Rohan Naidoo wrote:

Some nice maths there Dibben! We need Harmy to get bonked on the helmet while batting like 'Super Dev' Malcolm vs the South Africans...then let him loose. The wickets will roll in, I tell thee! Basically, some sort of miracle. They're a good tough team though are England. If we lose this I reckon we should keep faith with the side (except perhaps The King of Spain for Monty) and they can bounce back - the big decisions have been made and the big players like Harmy have been backed (captaincy, keeper, etc), got to give them a fair go.

  • 130.
  • At 01:20 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Stu wrote:

Hmm, talk about an over-reaction...

Does anybody remember the score from the 1st Test of the 2005 Ashes Series?

For those that don't, the Aussies won by over 200 runs.

Did we pack up and give in then? Were you one of the people who wrote England off after the first test?

Although now unlikely, if England pull a draw out of this it'll absolutely batter the Aussies confidence if they can't win a match from this position.

And if England get a tonking, all England have to do is think "Well, now different to 2005 then, let's repeat that series of events."

  • 131.
  • At 01:25 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Kevin Wright wrote:

Reading these comments is depressing. We can all see the faults no problem. The players that have been picked are out there for this test match now. Lets get behind them and give them our support. The fans passion can help lift the England team and they need that in the next 3 days.

  • 132.
  • At 01:41 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Tony Clark wrote:

Brisbane Revisited:
Lovely sunny morning in Toronto, and I'm chuffed to see the jolly old Globe & Mail has reported on day one in Brisbane.
Last evening I heard my dear lady wife retiring to bedfordshire, and as it was the tea interval in Brisbane, with those dreadful Australians reeling at 528-8, I too toddled off to bed.

Imagine my chagrin to discover that England are only 53-3, too dull! It will be instructive to see Mr Giles and Mr. Geraint (sic) pile on 250 runs tomorrow!

By the way, how is your peer and my former fellow countryman Lord Black of Crossharbour?
Odd that he is named after a train station. Usually it is the other way round.

  • 133.
  • At 01:42 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Kevin Wright wrote:

Apologies some of the comments on here are depressing. Some of them are amusing including the Aussie ones where they are clearly enjoying us sticking the knife into our team.
Shame about the trumpeter and the treatment of the Barmy Army. Hopefully they will come back and have some good chants ready as a follow up.

  • 134.
  • At 01:59 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • kerplunk wrote:

Liam Plunkett is a great bowler!!! Duncan have you ever seen some of plunks figures in tests and one dayers?

It is only the depressing sight of Saj running in that keeps Plunkett from being one of the worst bowlers to represent england in a long time.

Back to this current test, it is long gone now and england could not of got off to a worse start.

The loss of Tresco, Vaughn, Simon Jones and an inform Harmy is too much for us. Cook will be a very good player in the future but not quite yet, Collingwood is out of his depth at this level.

Anderson is no replacement for Jones either, it is a shame but the ashes wont be coming home

  • 135.
  • At 02:00 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Owain, love the song mate. I like this one better though ......

Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the Free,
We're gonna lose this test match,
By tea on day three,
Wider still and wider
Harmie's ball that opened this "war";
Thank God, we'll lose by an innings,
and he wont have to bowl any more.

Dear Land of Hope, thy hope is drowned.
Looks safe, my 5-0 bet!
On the Gabba ground, our hopes unfound,
It'll get a lot worse yet.
Our keepers poor, our bowling pained,
Duncs choices just plain wrong;
Reputations gained, because it rained,
We knew it all along.

Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the Free,
We're gonna lose this test match,
By tea on day three,
Wider still and wider
Our search for players not poor;
God, take back my MBE,
I don't deserve it any more.

Now I'm counting down the days,
Till we win back our pride:
By the time we actually earn our praise,
I will have surely died:
Not that false joy that dreams content
With what our lads have won;
Facing our attack, I must lament
I'd probably score a tonne.

Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the Free,
We're gonna lose this test match,
By tea on day three,
Wider still and wider ,
Our search for excuses goes,
We could still yet draw a game,
if in Melbourne on Christmas it snows.

  • 136.
  • At 02:12 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Tony Chalmers wrote:

For thosen cricket fans living in the USA Directv satellite network is covering the Ashes series live on either channel 117 or 119 between 7pm and 3am, taking the Australian TV channel 3 coverage. The first two days have been free no doubt they will start charging soon.

Indian Harbour Beach

  • 137.
  • At 02:22 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

I think Giles benefited from the 'Gillespie effect'. For a tailender its not just about how many runs you make - its about how many balls you face, how long you can hang around so the batsman at the other end (in Gillespie's case it was often Gilchrist) can score runs. Simply comparing averages of Monty and Giles will only tell you a part of the story. Monty scoring 13 through a couple of swing and misses and a couple of lucky hits, will get the team about 13 runs. Giles (and also Hoggard) scoring 20 might get England about 60 or 70 runs.

  • 138.
  • At 02:25 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • john wrote:

For all the fans out there wanting to listen try Australia's ABC, at They have a great bunch of commentators.

  • 139.
  • At 02:33 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Sprawlo wrote:

Lordy, you probably paid the license fee then because you lived in the UK...if you don';t pay it now, how can you expect to get any benefits from it? There are always alternatives, the last tyime England played in Australia, I managed to find a site that streamed it, from Australia, with commentators like Ian Chappel...
Its out there somewhere!

I think Harmy is being treated a bit unfairly, he did get a wicket after all, and yes he was a bit erratic, but all he needs is the overs. People are complaining that we are getting hammered, and yes we are, and yeah it's very much business as usual in Australia, but we also got smashed at Lord's last year, and the headlines were just the same, then look what happened. I actually think we need Vaughan back, and drop Bell. He is a liability against the Aussies!

  • 140.
  • At 02:39 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Joanne wrote:

I find your offence at the signing of "Whinging Poms, Whinging Poms..." to be absolutely hypocritical ..... This is how YOUR OWN WEBSITE describes your Barmy Army (see below). English fans give as good as they get, the singing of songs is part of the sport and, well, stop whinging!
Besides, I'm guessing the "upbeat mood of the English supporters" was spoilt more from England's embarassing game rather then a song.

Barmy Harmonies

The Barmy Army repertoire ranges from the carousing to the rather RUDE AND INSULTING, from the dulcet patriotism of William Blake's 'Jerusalem' resonating all over the Oval, to the chorus of The Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine' substituted with 'You all live in a convict colony' when playing against the Aussies.

Even the players aren't spared from the Barmy Chorus, with a song or chant for almost every member of the England squad. Unfortunately, the Australians do get the short end of the stick, with Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Ricky Ponting and other dangerous players often targeted. A typical song will see a well-known song switched with Barmy lyrics. The lyrics are all made up by the fans, some on the spot, some with more forethought, and others...well, they tried.

The Barmy Army also have their own anthems to announce their presence. They range from the simple 'BARMY ARMY!' chant with similar response, to the general 'Everywhere we go...(everywhere we go...)people want to know...(people want to know...)'.

Barmy Sledging

Sledging between cricket players has been in the sport for longer than can be remembered. For the Barmy Army, this generally works as a battle of sledging between the English fans and the opposition fans, or the English fans and the poor opposition player who gets stuck covering the boundary rope nearest to them.

The Barmy Army v The Opposition Fans

This is usually done through the medium of song, but even the most hearty of Barmy Army singing can be beaten. In the Caribbean Tour during the spring of 1998, the Barmy Army met their singing match in the form of the Triniposse, the Barmy Army's supporters' equivalent from Trinidad, sponsored by the West Indies Cricket Board. Though the Barmy Army were out-sung and out-partied, it only sought to increase the intensity of the support for England in future bashes.

The battle of the elements was one innovative piece of sledging between the English fans and the Australian fans at the Oval Test in the 2005 Ashes Tour, with the English brandishing their umbrellas, a signal to take the players off for rain that wasn't there, and the Australian fans taking off their shirts as if it was a basking Australian summer. The Australian players joined in the fun, all of them wearing sunglasses as they returned from the pavilion after going off for 'bad light'.

The Barmy Army v the Opposition Players

I Shall Taunt You A Second Time

This generally focuses on the relationship between the Barmy Army and the player who gets set covering the boundary rope. Though the rapport is generally good-natured, as when a player drops a catch, it can go a bit too far, with some fans targeting personal problems in the player's life or their height, as in the case of not-quite-as-tall-as-the-rest-of-the-Australia XI, Justin Langer.

For example, Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie is well-known for being targeted by chants of 'Where's your caravan?', as his shaggy long mullet, goatee beard and earring apparently resemble the stereotypical image of gypsy travellers. However, this may also be a dig at his Australian Aboriginal ancestry, which, in this Researcher's opinion, is not needed.

Gillespie did hit back in the newspapers, but also added a little jest of his own, saying that 'the caravan was in for repairs'.

The personal life of Australia's dangerous spinner Shane Warne was targeted a lot during the 2005 Ashes Tour8, though when Warne started taking a few English wickets, the English fans did burst into a chorus of:

We wish you were English! We only wish you were English!
Me And My Big Mouth

If certain opposition players make predictions about the outcome of the match which prove to be wrong, they can expect to be sledged at like no other by the Barmy Army.

Australia's veteran fast bowler Glenn McGrath predicted a 5-0 whitewash of the England squad by Australia at the start of the 2005 Ashes Tour. However, a shock injury on the morning of the 2nd Test at Edgbaston dashed his chances of playing fit for that Test, which England won. So, when he was placed on the boundary rope at subsequent Tests, the sounds of 'Five-nil! Five-nil!' from the English fans only sought to rise in volume9.

Honk a Pom!! In paritular the trumpet player. It is disgusting to read from back home that Bill Cooper the Barmy Army trumpet player was ejected from the Gabba for playing his trumpet. Poor showing Aussies, poor showing!!

  • 142.
  • At 03:07 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • SouthseaSaint wrote:

Shame we're getting 'tonked'.

The aussies are certainly keen on winning. I'm sure the lower tolerance to crowd 'mis-behaviour' is specifically targeted at quelling the barmy army - not to mention deliberately trying to spread out England spectators. How sad. Added to Warne almost hitting Pietersen with an agressive throw back to the wickie. Maybe the Aussies are only sporting when they already hold the ashes?

Good to hear that 'mattinbend,oregon,USA' has located some web commentary for those outside the UK. I will soon be Bend on business - didn't realise it was such a hotspot for cricket fans!

  • 143.
  • At 03:30 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Andy Parling wrote:

That made me laugh... anybody who can't take the banter from the Aussies should'nt be out there as it is all in the name of fun... saying that when you give it back alot of them turn round and whinge, it happenned alot in 2005! I remember Gillespie getting so much stick from the crowd in the last series for his bowling that he could not handle it, maybe its Harmison's turn now!

  • 144.
  • At 03:36 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

To Tonka Pom

By your reasoning (population size equals victories) the Scotland rugby team should beat the NZ All Blacks every other game. Don't think it happens!!

  • 145.
  • At 03:58 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Andrew Nash wrote:

It doesn't seem to be much of a secret that Australia are focused on one thing only, winning the ashes and it seems that stadium officials are also doing their bit to nullify English support here. It was sad to hear english fans who had saved long and hard for this to be treated so unfairly, it is almost like a present day body-line aimed at genuine fans who just want to have fun.
I live in Brisbane and it is fair to say that the average australian is a pretty decent sort of person but the treatment of english fans here has gone too far.
Nothing it seems is supposed to get in the way of a fairytale victory on home soil for Australia, but why can't it just be decided by the players themselves.

England it would seem, will need to adjust quickly to playing conditions here as they are very different from back home and, it will take some time for them to really hit some form in this series,but their fans will just keep hoping that sooner rather than later, that they will spoil the fairytale

  • 146.
  • At 04:12 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Has anyone beaten 988 on "Tonk a Pom?

  • 147.
  • At 04:20 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • E. John Edmonds wrote:

'Come on Aussies. Have some respect for the game. It's not a bloody war"

  • 148.
  • At 04:36 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Tonka Pom wrote:

Peter, I respect your argument. Up to a point.

Thing about NZ v Scotland at rugby is that rugby is the big chiefy sport in NZ, whereas here very few people play it - some Edinburgh private schoolboys plus a few in the Borders. We do ok in our official national sport (football), relative to our population. And take a look at Scotland's record at Darts, Snooker and Curling - our real centres of excellence..!

Are you really saying that 'England shouldn't expect' to beat the Aussies at cricket..?

  • 149.
  • At 04:45 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Spaniel wrote:

C'mon BBC, being an aussie living just across the border in the netherlands, i thought you have live commentry online, all this technology available and media politics hampers us cricket lovers from what we NEED! After spending last ashes moping around my worksite in Dorset, I am chomping at the bit to hear the aussie trollip the poms, er, i mean england. PLEASE, change your minds about this situation. It's just not cricket.....(sorry)

  • 150.
  • At 04:51 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Greg wrote:

I'm a staunch Aussie - can't wait for the Perth Test! Loved Day 1 & 2 of this test - BRING IT ON!
But I gotta say - I too am frustrated by the over-zealous ground security. I wonder if the officials think we are all Al Quaida members disguised as Aussies & Poms?
I was at the last Perth Ashes Test - and I sang myself hoarse trying to outdo the colour and very funny Barmy Army! They are great and add great character to the series. Please guys - don't boycott the game - we need y'all in the crowd - keeping the atmosphere and banter going. Perhaps write letters on-mass to the ACB re: the security? But please don't boycott!!

  • 151.
  • At 05:04 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • mo sumra wrote:

iv stayed up for the last two nights watching us get smashed all ova the park.
then iv turned up late for work got a warning now a final warning and its onlty day two!
at least its the week end now. iv survived and i should b ok for monday coz well b 1-0 nil down by day 4.
if we were n e good id b happy too get the chop.
" come on england" pleez try

  • 152.
  • At 05:15 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Spaniel wrote:

Dear E. John Edmonds,

Harden up, princess. This is the ashes. This is a war. And trust me, being from Brisbane, the crowd control is not being pickky of the barmy army, they just hate everyone. They're known as the fun-police locally


  • 153.
  • At 05:25 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • M wrote:

I am fed up of the institutionalised racism of the chippy Australians

  • 154.
  • At 05:50 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

Come on England! People are being so negative, yeah this test is probably lost but I remember last series when we got battered in the first test then came back and dominated three out of the last four tests. We are worse off for not having Simon Jones, Michael Vaughan and Trescothick but lets get behind them and believe the boys can do the job. It'll be tough but who ever thought it was going to be easy! Come on England!

  • 155.
  • At 05:54 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Adam Lewis wrote:

I remember losing the first test badly in the last ashes series and Glen predicting a 5-0 white wash, and it didn't exactly go that way ...

I honestly hope that Harmy comes back to haunt all those aussies laughing at him right now. An ashes series isn't lost in the first two days of series.

  • 156.
  • At 06:02 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Geoffrey Parkes wrote:

The Australians are right - what a load of whinging commentators we are, and after only two days! Get a grip you moaners - it is never over until its over and there is a long long way to go yet. England can win the ashes if they want them; the Australians aren't as good as they make out.

  • 157.
  • At 06:05 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Ben wrote:

Tonk A Pom

You´re Scottish, so you really should keep your opinions about sports to yourself. Claiming you do OK in football is hilarious, when was the last time you made a world cup? Been held to a draw by the Faroe Islands lately? You´re woeful at all the proper sports you play, and claiming that only private schools and a couple of border regions are interested in rugby is an outright lie. Trying to compensate by using snooker and tiddlywinks as examples of how well you do in sports is a cracking gag, well done on that. The English are far better than you at snooker anyway. Maybe you beat them in rounders once in a while, if you´re lucky?

England were brilliant last Ashes series, deserved their victory and played in a spirit and with a skill level that warranted every aspect of the delighted celebrations it created.

Your Scotsman-slagging-off-England mentality is so puerile and lame it belongs in the 1800s.

And I´m a Kiwi, before you ask.

Come On England!

  • 158.
  • At 06:58 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

Tonka Pom

Don't think I can add much to what Ben has written. My main underlying point was that England were fully entitled to celebrate winning a competition they had not won for 18 years against a team recognised (then) as the best in the world. It was a fantastic victory achieved by committment, skill and determination.

  • 159.
  • At 08:09 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • steve wrote:

we are a shadow of a side the got the little urn but it will not stop me travelling over there to watch the melbourne test,i just hope we go on the offensive in team selection (AG) is a defensive play and i am sure monty is upset with this. he would have got a bit of stick with the aussie crowd but surely this would have got our lads going.anyway heres to the mcg,

  • 160.
  • At 08:10 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Paul Dillon wrote:

Australian view from Paris for cricket lovers outside the UK and Australia.

After a few frantic hours online Wednesday night looking for any video or audio, and trying various links with limited results, I discovered Cricket Australia's website ( and stumped up 24 US dollars for a video/audio package spanning all 5 Tests. And I'm glad I's a great service (decent size picture) and with the Channel 9 Australia commentary, you almost feel like you're there.

Check the terms and conditions before subscribing because it is not available in certain countries.

While I'm ecstatic with the way Australia have started the series, I do hope England's finest get back into the match and series to make it another memorable clash.

  • 161.
  • At 08:16 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • aapeli wrote:

I can't see England winning a single test. Retaining the Ashes was never going to happen. They are fortunate to be able to call themselves the holders. It is interesting to see just how strong the squad is now and how Flintoff will remain upbeat in the media.

  • 162.
  • At 08:29 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • bryan wrote:

all is not lost!!
england have hatched a cunning plan!
england will get about 400 1st inns+will be asked to follow on,then score another 330 odd and set the aussies 130 to win on 4th day after tea with freddie taking the new ball firing at 90mph,we all know how they love to chase small targets!!

  • 163.
  • At 08:31 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • bryan wrote:

all is not lost!!
england have hatched a cunning plan!
england will get about 400 1st inns+will be asked to follow on,then score another 330 odd and set the aussies 130 to win on 4th day after tea with freddie taking the new ball firing at 90mph,we all know how they love to chase small targets!!

  • 164.
  • At 08:40 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Anthony wrote:


Enough of the crying. Support your team, but please dont cry about what "should" or "could" be.

Go easy on the Gabba security. Remember that not so long ago, some very nasty people detonated bombs in London, and people associated with them wanted to do the same at Lords. The Australian security forces are making sure that doesnt happen again.

To all the Poms in Brissie...have fun.

Good Luck

  • 165.
  • At 09:09 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • kevin wrote:

yeah, with a bit of luck you won a series 18 months ago - get over it

yeah, you played some good cricket since then - get over it

yeah, you have some world class individuals in your team - get over it.

2006/07 - different conditions, a different team and it is not looking promising. Stop whinging and get over it.

Not too bad for convicts.

  • 166.
  • At 09:40 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Julia Wilson wrote:

Dear Tonk a Pom

Relative population sizes are irrelevant. Cricket is a minority sport in England but is the big summer sport here in sport-obsessed Australia.

BTW, I don't think 'Pom' can be compared to 'Aussie'; the latter is just an abbreviation of 'Australian' whereas the former feels like racism to me.

Julia in Melbourne

  • 167.
  • At 10:03 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • ross wrote:

conor - totally agree... even more frustrating is the fact that the international version of the bbc site offers video highlights - bit when you follow the link it is only availble to UK residents!

c'mon bbc, you can do better

  • 168.
  • At 10:56 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jeremy Martin wrote:

OBE handouts in mid career seem to be the kiss of death. England's Rugby and cricket have been OBEtuaried!

  • 169.
  • At 11:05 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • Jamil Glenton wrote:

Dear Geoffrey Parkes, in response to your hilarious quote 'The Aussies aren't as good as they say'. I can only conclude that you and every other pommie are insane. How can you even contemplate saying that about a team who have DOMINATED test and one day cricket for over a decade, and no, NO ONE else has come close, regardless of the Ashes last year, who's form has been better since? Do you see Warne or McGrath complain when they travel because they are homesick? I don't think so, England are an embarassment to their country.

  • 170.
  • At 11:12 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • mickrips1off wrote:

absolutely delightful to be giving the poms a bashing in the 1st test. may be different for rest of the series. NOT... youre guys dont seem to have a clue. looking as things are atm i think flintoff is actually an aussie. that guy sure has a big ticker in his chest just need his team mates to help him out. i hope the poms get their act together and make the ashes a battle not a walkover.

  • 171.
  • At 11:16 PM on 24 Nov 2006,
  • ABM wrote:

Ok, I'll put up my hands, I'm Australian and very happy with the progress of this match.

The comments on this blog are a bit downhearted I think.

But, at the risk of talking treason....... Can any of you lot ***pray for rain***?

Level 4 drought restrictions in Brisbane..... dams down to 23% capacity (in Brisbane, worse elsewhere), dryest 5 years on record, small children who don't know what wet stuff from the sky looks like, backyards that look like the Nullarbor (don't be fooled by the green surface at the Gabba, that's probably paint!)...... it's the one thing that an Aussie would actually appreciate more than another win at cricket.

So pray, do a raindance, put the kettle on, put on a Druid costume and start chanting (whatever you foreigners do to invoke the rain god, I'm not fussed). We could use it.

  • 172.
  • At 12:20 AM on 25 Nov 2006,
  • Aws wrote:

Two words: MONTY PANESAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 173.
  • At 12:49 AM on 25 Nov 2006,
  • David Holmes wrote:

ABC Radio stream, anybody with a connection should be able to listen to this.

  • 174.
  • At 01:40 AM on 25 Nov 2006,
  • Col wrote:

I, too would love to listen to 5 live, but live in the USA, so it's BBC website updates for me. England players should be thinking how deflated the Aussies would be if we happen to hang on in this one. If we batted for the next 2 and a half days and only made 10 runs, I'd be happy.

  • 175.
  • At 07:10 AM on 25 Nov 2006,
  • annabelle wrote:

g'day garry newnham....whats the score eh???? It aint looking too good for you lot. Australia first innings: 9 declared for 602, yep..six hundred and two. England first innings: all out for ???? A bit less than 602!!! And here we go again, a lead of...probably 1,000 by the time you read this..

Me thinks that you poms are not gunna win. Can't bowl, can't bat, can't catch....can't play cricket!!!!

And calling you lot poms is not racist. It's a term of endearment, like we are happy for you to call us convicts.
As our song goes: I'd rather be a convict than a pom, yes I would!!!

Guess you are getting touchy already, we haven't won the ashes yet. But we will!!!

  • 176.
  • At 08:07 AM on 25 Nov 2006,
  • Don wrote:

Just listened to Geoff Boycotts thoughts on why Ponting didn't make us follow on, I don't agree with the resting his bowlers proposition, Ponting is out to psychologically destroy England. Set them an impossible target, then take them apart on the field, and still have a day in hand, job done!

  • 177.
  • At 08:24 AM on 25 Nov 2006,
  • David Holmes wrote:

The ECB should have backed a squad of decent Cricketers to fly over and play, instead of 11 tent-pegs .. Well and truly "Tonked".

  • 178.
  • At 11:11 AM on 25 Nov 2006,
  • jeremy day wrote:

The supposed justification for having Giles in the side instead of Panesar was that Giles can bat a bit (even though he has not played for nearly a year) and that when England were in trouble (Good prediction from the Management) one would want him going to the middle at number 8. I see that Giles managed to score 20 out of our total of 157 so I suppose Fletcher will regard that as a complete vindication of his selectorial decision! 1 for 90 - He hardly dried up end which is his supposed task as, unlike Monty, he is not a wicket taker.

However, to me those so-called extra runs are meaningless in against a total of 602. Had Monty played who knows how much lower the Aussie total would have been. If Pietersen could get the ball to spun (and turning to KP was a complete sign, whether recognised or not, that a proper spinner was needed) think what Monty would have done on those cracks in the pitch with that bounce too.

If Fletcher wishes to persist with policy having bowlers who bat a bit then why was Saj Mahmood not picked over Harmison or Anderson. We could have had another 20 runs and got to 177! Hey Fletcher you missed a trick!

  • 179.
  • At 01:35 PM on 25 Nov 2006,
  • Kev Scrivener wrote:

After this performance, it is imperative that England play both Panesar and Giles in the next test; the only question being, do they drop Strauss, Collingwood or Cook to accomodate the extra batsman?

  • 180.
  • At 10:08 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Denise Thatcher wrote:

Dear Aggers,

Remember me? Seems a while since I sent you a poem...Did I start something there by any chance?
Your commentary is quite simply one of the Wonders of the World. I might not have slept for the last 3 nights but I've savoured every minute. Thank you so much.
* * * *
Ode to Aggers

The Bearded Wonder to your box doth cleave
The pumps of Blowers are by Victor amply filled
The sore lamented Johnners hovers near
And Geoffrey sticks his keys into the field

Thy dulcet whispers span the globe
Declaiming decency with every ball
Strauss adding four to his overnight score
Let TMS be put in charge of all

Apologies to CMK aka Solomon.

Yours, Denise

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