There has been a lot of “meh” on the Internet regarding the upcoming Ashes series – mostly revolving around the fact that Australia are in shambles, while England’s form of late can only be described as “a little better than mediocre.”
But I, for one, am excited.
And not because I am a fan of either side, or because the matches will be on Willow here in the states, but because it is a five-Test series, and we just never get those anymore.
The most recent five-Test series was England in Australia, 2010-2011, two and a half years ago. Before that it was Australia in England, summer of 2009, four years ago; and before that it England in the West Indies in late winter/early spring of 2009, four and a half years ago.
And those are the only five-Test series that have happened since I started following the sport in April of 2007 – three out of a total of 98.
Meanwhile, there have been 37 (!!) two-Test series.
And so I hope my more jaded readers allow me to geek out over the Ashes, because in my time as a cricket follower, the five Test series is a truly rare event, and one that should be paid attention to.
Five tests, 10 innings, 25 days…there is no more interesting or captivating event in sport. There are ebbs, flows, rising actions, falling actions, love stories, heroes, goats, villains…it is five, five-act Shakespearean plays spread out over six weeks, all linked together thematically and lyrically.
I can’t wait.