August 2009
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DeeAnne White: I want to be English. Or Australian.

August 13th, 2009 by TWC in England, Test cricket, The Ashes


As we’re almost at the end of the Ashes, I have a confession to make. I want to be English. Or Australian. I want to live this experience as only a citizen of the countries involved can. I want to feel the euphoria leading up to the first day of the first Test. I want to be desperate for the series to begin but so tortured about the outcome that I’m almost unable to watch. I want to be part of the love/hate relationship that is England versus Australia during the Ashes.

It doesn’t stop there. I want to be English to know that my country is the home of this gorgeous game called cricket. I want to be English to taunt my friends for looking like a “tourist”. I want to be English to know that, in the end, I will suffer any gut-wrenching defeat with a stiff-upper lip and a comment of “well played”, and then quietly plot my revenge. Conversely, I want to be Australian to be the brash rogues of the cricket world. I want to be Australian to taunt my English friends for being free from the evil British Empire. I want to be Australian to know that if a loss may come, I will grit my teeth, curse under my breath and vow to die before ever allowing it to happen again.

The Ashes is unlike anything I’ve seen in sport before. I’ve watched a great deal of all sorts of sport and have had my heart broken many times by the loss of my favourite team. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan, perhaps most synonymous with modern Arsenal – endless potential, yet left at the altar time and again. Yet this agony still can’t compare to that involved in the Ashes.

The big difference between this sort of rivalry and the contests I’m familiar with is that the Ashes represent something on an altogether grander scale. In the US, the rivalries are between American teams only, think the Dallas Cowboys versus the San Francisco 49ers (American football), the Los Angeles Lakers versus the Boston Celtics (Basketball) or the New York Yankees versus the Boston Red Sox (Baseball). These are wonderful rivalries – akin to Manchester United versus Liverpool or Lancashire against Yorkshire – but it’s just not the same.

Americans only get the excitement and adrenaline of that type when the Ryder Cup or the Olympics come around. We love it, too. When you see how the US went wild at our women’s soccer success on home soil in the 1999 World Cup, it’s a mystery to me why we haven’t become more involved in the team sports that are played on a highly competitive level between nations. We’ve tried to fill the void by announcing ourselves as the “World Champions” in sports that only we play but it’s a hollow title.

Cricket, rugby, and soccer are all part of this wonderful club that we’ve isolated ourselves from. It’s well known that the first international cricket match was played between the US and Canada at Bloomingdale Park in New York in 1844. Why didn’t we continue to participate in international cricket? Did the oceans that separated us from the rest of the world make it cost prohibitive for too many years, or was it something else? Were we too hasty to distance ourselves from the countries of our origins and their sport, as we did with languages and other customs? What a terrible loss. I can only hope that as the economy becomes more global, the sporting world will become smaller too and that the United States will re-engage in world sports on a broader scale. Until then, I’ll have to live vicariously through the people I come across as I follow cricket.

I have close friends in England and Australia. I enjoy the similarities as much as the differences and I’m having great fun winding up both my English and my Australian pals about what’s going on. I’m mostly happy to be an American but just for today, or maybe the next two weeks, I want to be English. Or Australian.

DeeAnne White is the American girl at the cricket

Posted in England, Test cricket, The Ashes | 16 Comments »

Ian Bell reveals the full horror of being impostered on Twitter

August 13th, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers, England, The Ashes


I thought today couldn’t get any worse when I got bowled out for one by Ryan Sidebottom and then found that Jonathan Trott had stolen my Official Team England dinner plate and spoon set in order to eat one of his disgusting biltong and melktert sandwiches that he says his nana used to make all the time when they was growing up in Shipton-Under-Witwatersrand and which he says is actually as English as warm beer, red post boxes and a crushing sense of being trapped by soul-sucking mediocrity and I dunno about that but to be fair he’s here now and that’s the main thing, stolen plate notwithstanding.

I get out the iPhone and there’s like six missed calls from Colin Gibson, who is what’s called a Director Of Communications at the ECB which is not as the name might suggest someone you go to if you can’t get a signal on your phone or Andersony’s hogging the official team laptop and you want to play Murder Death Kill IV: Revenge Of The Third Umpire online against some bloke in Myanmar but is in fact a sort of Public Relations person.

Anyway this Gibson isn’t your usual Public Relations person in that he doesn’t have blonde hair and a kind reassuring smile and say “Hi I’m Kyla / Katie / Klare / Keithetta etc” and offer to get you a hot or cold beverage before they make you answer the questions from the Bad People with the notebooks but in fact this Gibson is a large, angry man and he’s already on the iPhone again and I have to say he’s using some industrial language and not quietly neither.

“What the bloody hell are you on Twitter for, making an arse of yourself?” asks this Gibson.

I says I don’t bother with the Twitter because frankly Ian Bell has more important things to do than spend his whole life telling people every last little thing he’s doing no matter how fascinating that would be to some fans and instead would rather concentrate on being the man to fill the problematic number three berth in England’s fragile middle-order, getting Nuneaton Borough promoted to the Premiership on Championship Manager, learning Esperanto, designing his range of volumising hair mousses for the recently deceased and generally being a decent bloke to have around the place.

So Gibson says it would appear that I have been a victim of Identity Theft which is one of the most serious crimes that can happen to a person in this day and age apart from obviously mugging, burglary or being murdered to death with like nunchucks by an irate ninja so I says oh and Gibson says well then and I says is this Twitter imposter going to groom me like I seen on Crimewatch and try to steal my soul and / or body for his own dastardly ends? and Gibson just says no don’t be a bloody idiot and stay off the computer for the foreseeable future so I says okay and so I guess this is Ian Bell logging off. KTHXBAI x

By Alan Tyers

Posted in Alan Tyers, England, The Ashes | 2 Comments »

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