7 Reasons That A Drawn First Test Was The Best Result For The Ashes
1. England. For England, a draw in the Brisbane test is certainly a good start to proceedings. We’ve already made certain that there will be no repeat of the 5-0 whitewash in 2006/7 (that I can’t remember) and we’ll be all the more confident as a result of that and, with the monkey off our back, we’ll be able to play more freely; without protests from animal rights activists angered by our wearing of the back-monkey.
2. Australia. For Australia, despite being the home team, and despite the stunning manner in which they won their last home series, a draw isn’t a bad start either. Now that many of their cricketing greats have retired, to devote more time to highlighting their hair and creosoting themselves – leaving Australia with players in their team that even Australians have to google – it was always going to be a tough series. A loss would, quite simply, have been devastating for them. At least with a draw the Australian public will retain some hope and confidence and will continue backing their team; whoever they are.
3. Andrew Strauss. A draw’s a good result for Straussy personally. It means we’re still in the hunt for The Ashes and, while this test can be seen as a positive in terms of his captaincy, will give him much needed time to work on his abysmal batting form. Strauss was England’s lowest scorer in both innings at Brisbane scoring 0 and 110 runs respectively, which is 192 runs fewer than his opening partner. A poor show indeed.
4. Ricky Ponting. A draw, for Ricky Ponting, is no bad result. He’s already received a lot of criticism from his countrymen and a draw is unlikely to add to that. Despite him being the most dislikeable man in the history of Australia, I almost felt sorry for him earlier today (? Yesterday? I just don’t know any more) while he was being booed by both of his own crowd. And I would have done. If I were mental. Or he wasn’t Ricky Ponting.
5. @theashes. Yes, the Twitter user with the best name on Twitter will also benefit from the draw. The feckless American who decided to give herself the name @theashes without checking Google or Wikipedia first and now has over 5000 new followers and more Twitter mentions than…er…the actual test match got (remember the cricket anyone?) now has a few days (I still haven’t worked out how many, I have no idea what day it is and am also surprised to note that it’s now light outside) to choose which team she wants to support as the two teams are still level. Then, when a Twitter-mob quickly forms to campaign to send @theashes to The Ashes, she can choose sides without accusations of glory-seeking, before payment is required for a plane ticket and the Twitter-mob dissipates even more quickly than it was formed.
6. Spectacle. The draw leaves the rest of the contest evenly balanced and, as history has shown us, the best, the absolute best Ashes series are the closest fought ones. Was the 2006/7 Ashes series actually exciting? I asked someone who actually remembered the series and he said “No.”… “Mate”. But the 2005 series and the 2009 series were both epic, close-fought affairs in which both teams gave their all and that everyone remembers fondly. In fact, most right-thinking cricket-fans don’t mind their team losing in a close and exciting contest at all.*
7. International Relations. Because of the draw we can continue to talk to Australians and they can continue to talk to us with pride and dignity intact all round. We can pretend that Finn and Swann didn’t get knocked around the park a worrying amount in Australia’s second innings and that South Africa is just west of the Isle of Wight, and Australians can pretend that there were people in the stands on Monday and that they were just very small. And quiet.
*Did I mention I haven’t slept since…Tuesday?