Features

Hendo

Duckett the issue: bingeing Poms the victims of (social) media's fake morality

Nigel Henderson suggests that cricketers in a losing team are the first to come under attack in a post-truth world.

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Heard but not seen: why this series is the Invisible Ashes

David Brook, Guerilla Cricket's latest recruit and the man who took Test cricket to Channel 4, argues that BT Sport's acquisition of the away Ashes TV rights are having knock-on effects for the promotion of the game. With the second Test poised tantalisingly on the final day in Adelaide – England needing 178 with six wickets in hand – and expelled from a speeding awareness course for sneaking a peak at the Ashes score on my poorly concealed mobile phone – I popped into a nearby Corals to find out the odds on England and perhaps place a cheeky bet. I pulled up the cricket screen and scrolled down the options.

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The ground that made Perth proud: a fond obituary for the WACA

In the first of two articles about the WACA as it prepares to stage its final Test, Jeremy Henderson, a Perth resident since arriving there as a 19-year-old in 1970, looks back on the good and bad about the ground. The Waca: never cut out to be a real stadium – and that was its charm. I've been lucky, really lucky. I have seen some fantastic cricket at the WACA. I saw Greg Chappell, in his first Test, and Perth's first Test, score a scintillating century against an England attack that included one of my boyhood idols, John Snow.

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Bring on the Chocolate Doughnut - England wave farewell to 47 years of Perth pain

Jeremy Henderson, in the second of two articles about the WACA as it stages its final Test, crunches the numbers to show that it has rarely been a happy hunting ground for the Ashes tourists. The new Perth Stadium: needs a few more ingredients. Almost exactly 47 years ago, Geoffrey Boycott, partnered by Brian Luckhurst, faced the first ball of the first Test match ever played in Perth. He went on to make 70 in an opening partnership of 171. Luckhurst made 131, and England managed a total of 397. While the match ended in a fairly tame draw, it was just about the zenith of England's performances at the WACA. With one minor aberration in 1978, when England beat the players that Kerry Packer didn't want, it has been pretty much all downhill since then.

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Paul Howarth

Being at Home: Aaaaagh-delaide and the nightmare before Christmas (part two)

Sofa-dwelling Paul Howarth was forced to watch the debacle unfolding at Adelaide 2006-07 from under his duvet 10,000 miles from the action. Not that that made it any easier to bear. When was the last time you loosed off a genuine primal scream at the iniquities of the world? Perhaps a bruising day at work was followed by a nose-to-armpit commute home before, wearily, you inserted your front door key into the lock, turned and ... it snapped off. Maybe you fetched up at Dover just as the last ferry was pulling out ... and then a seagull shat on your windscreen.

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Hendo

Being There: Aaaaagh-delaide and the nightmare before Christmas (part one)

As England were screwing up on a grand scale on the final day of Adelaide 2006-07, Nigel Henderson found himself drawn into an awkward and unwanted conversation with an Australian fan. As I stood on the Southern Concourse at the Adelaide Oval, shaking with almost visible rage as Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey picked off an England that had completely lost the plot on the final day of the second Test, an Australian turned to me and said: "How good is this?".

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Hendo

The real problem with Joe Root: he's mesmerized by his own talent

Nigel Henderson argues that the England captain's poor conversion rate of fifties to hundreds has an unexpected cause. When Joe Root stumbled towards the offside in trying to play Josh Hazlewood round his pad and through mid-wicket in the second innings of England's defeat in Brisbane – the resulting leg-before was obvious to most watching if not, immediately, the batsman himself – a rare moment of possible insight was offered by Kevin Pietersen. He suggested that Root's slight over-balancing act was a small technical deficiency arising from his response to the short-pitched bowling threat the Australian attack carried, positing that the England captain was primed – perhaps to too great a degree – to take avoiding action.

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Gary Naylor

'The blood drained from my face': Waugh, Warne and the changing of the guard

England had won most of the Ashes series in Gary Naylor's young life and he had no reason to think it wouldn't always be that way. Oh but it would, it would, as he recalls here. England, with a little help from the Packer rebels' absence, had won the Ashes five times out of six, with the 1975 defeat overshadowed in my 12-year-old mind by the new fangled World Cup and the 1982-83 loss in Australia not covered by television and, therefore, it possibly didn't actually happen. I was 26 and I hadn't really seen a half decent Australian side.

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Nakul Pande

Before the Sprinkler: six hours of torture at the hands of Brad the Impaler

There must be somewhere more comfortable to watch an Ashes than a freezing student shithole above an Indian restaurant in Euston. But that fate befell Nakul Pande who shivers at the memory, one made worse by the interminable company of a grizzled Australian wicketkeeper – and a reminder that 2010-11 wasn't all plain sailing. It is often said that the English have no national myths to speak of – no Aeneid, no Mahabharata, no Washington and the cherry tree. Even King Arthur is a Norman import. The English, they say, have no myths.

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Hendo

The great outpouring of breath: the Ashes, anticipation and a man called Harmy

The walk to the ground, the murmur at the toss, the delivery of the first ball, it's all about the expectation in an Ashes series. But in 2006-07, it was even more dramatic than usual, as Nigel Henderson, who was there, recalls.

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