Features

Gary Naylor

Help me make it through the night: the twilight world of an Ashes Guerilla

The classic way to get off to sleep is to count sheep – so that's imagining white objects moving in repeating patterns on grass with a little gate in the distance, to the accompaniment of numbers ticking over. Which might explain why so many doze at the cricket too – well, that and the lunchtime gin and tonics.

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The Guerillas

Rude awakenings: the indispensable guide to surviving an away Ashes

Academic Josh Robinson, an old hand at sleep deprivation, guides you through the best options to survive the wee hours with Guerilla Cricket and recommends the best commentators for successful slumber. This method involves falling asleep to the coverage, and getting up early to listen to part of the final session. For the games in the eastern third of Australia, this means going to sleep around 1am, and waking around 6am. It's different for Adelaide (the day/night game) and Perth (because of the time difference). Play continues until about 11.30am and 10am respectively, meaning you can get up early to listen to a big chunk – along with getting a virtuously early night.

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Hendo

Disasters in the drop zone: men who lost England the Ashes (maybe)

Catches have always won matches – and, indeed, spilled ones have regularly lost them. And they don't come any bigger or important than in an Ashes series. Nigel Henderson looks back on three of the most crucial that went to ground for England against Australia.

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Hendo

Middle management: growing scrutiny adds to umpires' insecurities

It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. Umpiring, that is. And it doesn't come much dirtier than the Ashes. But hey, get on the ICC'S Elite Panel and you could be laughing all the way to the bank to deposit upwards of $100k a year, along with much international travel. Nigel Henderson considers how officials' differing temperaments help or hinder them. Billy Bowden just wanted everyone to love him.

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Gary Naylor

Culture crash: Ashes sayings from the great, good ... and Piers Morgan

It's just a step to the left ... and a blast through extra cover! From Rocky Horror Show writer to Neil Finn, by way of Walt Whitman and the Bard, the Ashes has inspired some great soundbites. Here are a selection of the finest courtesy of Gary Naylor. "Whose batting will make the difference in the series? Whose captaincy will give their side an advantage? Whose media skills will work best? Whose relationship with the coach will prove most effective? Root's Root's Root's Root's".

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Jason Hiscox

Hidden agenda: cricket's Paradise Papers reveal Aussie plans to bring down Poms

In the modern era, backroom staff spend an age analysing their opponents' strengths and weaknesses using everything from video footage to algorithms. But all this hi-tech subterfuge is of no use if your computer encryption is weak. Guerilla activist and IT specialist Jason Hiscox drove through Cricket Australia's gatekeepers in minutes to access their Ashes file on England – and it turned out to be disappointingly basic.

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The Guerillas

'This is going to be violent': the Guerilla crew give their Ashes predictions (part one)

When it comes to the Ashes, everyone has to have their say on the outcome. And we, at Guerilla Cricket, are no different. So here, in the first of two features, are the predictions from some of the finest/most deranged minds (delete as applicable) in the game. Expect wild optimism, psychotic pessimism, rigorously-applied stats (think pi), and bizarre nods to Rudyard Kipling and BBC crime documentaries. Not to mention a couple of Glenn McGraths. Talking of worthless opinions, we've even let some of our Australian friends have a go. David Barratt Guerilla Cricket contributor / jingle writer @MenWithVenUK.

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The Guerillas

'The steady ebbing away of hope': the Guerilla crew give their Ashes predictions (part two)

When it comes to the Ashes, everyone has to have their say on the outcome. And we, at Guerilla Cricket, are no different. So here, in the second of two features, are the predictions from some of the finest/most deranged minds (delete as applicable) in the game. Expect wild optimism, psychotic pessimism, rigorously-applied stats (think pi), and a couple of Glenn McGraths. Talking of worthless opinions, we've even let some of our Australian friends have a go. Nigel Henderson Guerilla Cricket founder / anchor @guerillahendo.

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Tony Bishop

Love in the afternoon session: Ashes liaisons that left their mark

Winning the Ashes, or a crucial game within it, leaves an imprint on the emotions – almost as strong as being in love in some cases. Tony Bishop finds the two corresponding in four tales of longing – and belonging – that take him from the Oval to a Curry's shopfront via the former Yugoslavia and the New Forest. Love is indeed a many splendored thing. Complex and metaphysical with ever- shifting depth and dimension. A simple word that can cover such a range of emotion. I love my family; I have been in love many times; I am in love with my partner now. I love wine, the Blues and Bob Dylan; I love Watford; I love Middlesex. And I love the Ashes.

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Hendo

So this is bromance: how Warner gave game away about Aussie-Pommie rivalry

When he called for all-out war against England in the Ashes build-up, the Australia vice-captain was revealing something about their attitude to Poms that nobody could have anticipated, argues Nigel Henderson. So now we know the truth. "Arsewipe" was a term of endearment. "Mental disintegration" was a minor wind-up meant to be no more psychologically damaging than a game of marbles.

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