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Features

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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Paul Howarth

The summer of '05: like a trick of the memory

It was the best of times. When England regained the Ashes after 16 long years of pain, Paul Howarth was working his way up at an advertising agency. Sometimes he actually went into the office. Mostly, though, cricket was uppermost in his mind. You could be forgiven for thinking nothing else existed in the summer of 2005. Work, school, shopping, emptying one's bowels, spending time with loved ones, hobbying, looking for a misplaced biro (how many have we had in this house?). All of these things must've happened. It's just that I can't remember any of them.

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Brett Mckay

Beware the Usman Khawaja enigma, my English friends…

All of the talk is about the damage Smith and Warner might do to the English attack, but pour a little sunshine on to the Aussie pitches, mix with a Kookaburra ball, and a certain left-handed No 3 has the ingredients he needs to make the tourists suffer, says Brett McKay. Usman Khawaja: Gower, Harvey and Mark Waugh rolled into one – in Australia. Death, taxes, and an early-season Usman Khawaja run spree.

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Hendo

Jofra who? Guerilla Cricket's Youth Wing on their Ashes XIs. Bloody millenials

Give me your Ashes teams, said @guerillahendo. Starting XIs for Brisbane, squad players and reasons. 150 words max. Back they came, at first a trickle, then a flow, then a veritable flood. Some were short, pithy, to the point; others were longer, more rounded; a few had their own books and were available on Amazon. These are the thoughts of the Guerilla Cricket Youth Wing. And yes, with curious votes for YJB to open, three wicketkeepers, and a quite frankly unhealthy passion for Gary Ballance, you may think they were born yesterday.

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Hendo

Urning a place on the plane: the Guerilla Cricket Ashes selections (part one)

Give me your Ashes teams, said @guerillahendo. Starting XIs for Brisbane, squad players and reasons. 150 words max. Back they came, at first a trickle, then a flow, then a veritable flood. Some were short, pithy, to the point; others were longer, more rounded; a few had their own books and were available on Amazon. There was strange manlove for Liam Plunkett, bizarre left-field votes for Cookie's Essex mates Dan Lawrence and James Foster. And then there was Cockers; Cockers is as Cockers does – and he does freeform. Read down to see who you agree with and who you believe, passionately, to be a raving lunatic.

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