Great article in the SMH here, with an equally great title: English hopes rise from ashes but supporters dare not fan the flames
Add another beating for the Australians in a one-dayer at Somerset – albeit one executed largely by a South African and a Sri Lankan – and the temptation must be for Englishmen everywhere to run down to Earl’s Court, assail the nearest Aussie bar tender and make his thoughts known.
And a particular gem:
The admission made, you are then greeted with a grateful smile: “Do you really think so? Mmm, yeah, well, yeah, our boys are certainly better than they were. But we’ll have to see when the real stuff starts, won’t we?”
Of course, this touchingly restrained response is not fully reflected in the tabloid press – in which Australia were branded “a bunch of sheilas” and England were declared winners of the “Thrashes”. The lid has been kept held down rather more firmly in the so-called “quality” papers, where cricket writers have tied themselves in knots coming up with ways to acknowledge that the Twenty20 hit and giggle did not really have much bearing on the Ashes, while at the same time hinting that it really did.
Worth a minute of your time…