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The Ashes

Analysis and Comment (21)

The Australian cricket team’s turnaround Ashes win shows how a building culture of team work yields results. The Australian cricket team’s turnaround Ashes win shows how a building culture of team work yields results. AAP

Urn returns: how cricket’s turnaround culture paid dividends

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ll know that Australia has convincingly won the Ashes 5-0. They have done this not by fielding a team of champions but rather, a champion team. Most agree…
Australia regained the treasured Ashes urn after whitewashing England five-nil. What are the key cultural lessons from the latest series? Australia regained the treasured Ashes urn after whitewashing England five-nil. What are the key cultural lessons from the latest series? AAP/Paul Miller

The Ashes: six salutary lessons for the media, the nation and sport

When the end came to the Ashes, it came quickly on the third day at the Sydney Cricket Ground – five-nil to Australia. After ten Ashes tests in seven months, 2015 will be well advanced before Australia…
The eye sees what the camera can’t. The eye sees what the camera can’t. Scot Campbell

Out! Goal! The ball was in! But could Hawk-Eye get it wrong?

Hawk-Eye is a device used to reconstruct the track of the ball for LBW decisions in cricket and for line calls in tennis. It will be much in evidence during the remaining Ashes tests and is now being used…
Australia’s cricketing mojo has returned in this Ashes series. While effective, their methods have not always been pretty. Australia’s cricketing mojo has returned in this Ashes series. While effective, their methods have not always been pretty. AAP/Dave Hunt

The Ashes: Australian masculinity reborn amid English tumult

After losing three Ashes series on the bounce and following much soul-searching about the decline of its national sporting prowess, Australia is giving England a pounding in the cricket. For many, all…
Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke became involved in a sledging imbroglio after stump microphones picked up a comment aimed at Englishman Jimmy Anderson. Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke became involved in a sledging imbroglio after stump microphones picked up a comment aimed at Englishman Jimmy Anderson. AAP/Dave Hunt

Sledging is out of order in the workplace, so why not the sports field?

Picture this scene: you and a colleague sit down for a meeting with your counterparts from another organisation. Before discussions begin, one employee leans over and questions whether you know what you…
By developing effective concentration and cognitive strategies, athletes can learn to ignore or reframe comments by their opposition. By developing effective concentration and cognitive strategies, athletes can learn to ignore or reframe comments by their opposition. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Don’t be so sensitive, sledging is part of the game

In cricket it’s known as sledging; in basketball, it’s trash talk; in ice hockey, chirping. Whatever you prefer to call it, the banter that occurs between players, whether it is on the field, court, or…
Rupert Murdoch may look to a more sympathetic government for reform to the anti-siphoning list of sporting events. Rupert Murdoch may look to a more sympathetic government for reform to the anti-siphoning list of sporting events. EPA/Drew Angerer

Political favours and the rights of TV sport audiences

As the dust settles after a decisive change of government, it is time for the main support players to call in their favours. Among the cheerleaders for a Coalition government, none was more vocal than…
Gentlemanly pursuit … also played by Australians. Gentlemanly pursuit … also played by Australians. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

It’s time for cricket to clean up its sledging excesses

“Bring it on” says Thommo my Brisbane host, “your WG Grace started it. And if hurting people is the issue remember there was Bodyline”. The self-styled Ugly Australian is back and revelling both in a first…
Spice boys: the English cricket team’s leaked dietary requirements while on tour caused much mirth in Australian press. Spice boys: the English cricket team’s leaked dietary requirements while on tour caused much mirth in Australian press. AAP/Dave Hunt

The Ashes: where the indigestible meets the indelible

An Ashes series – the latest set to commence in Brisbane – symbolically ushers in the Australian summer in a manner akin to the loud soundtrack of thrumming cicadas. The media will cover the sporting exploits…
We’re about to reach intermission in the ten-part Ashes series. What have we learnt about the way we consume the sport of cricket as a social and cultural construct? We’re about to reach intermission in the ten-part Ashes series. What have we learnt about the way we consume the sport of cricket as a social and cultural construct? EPA/Peter Powell

The end of Act One of the Ashes melodrama

The end of the English summer beckons, and Act One of the current Ashes drama is reaching its appointed denouement across the Thames from London’s Theatreland at The Oval. The interval will last until…
Silicone? In the clear. Silicone? In the clear. Owen Humphreys/PA

Cricket finds itself in a hot spot over silicone on bats

The Ashes series is already plagued by controversy over technology’s role in cricket. The latest allegations of equipment tampering haven’t helped. Australian TV station Channel Nine has reported some…
The science of spin bowling yields some interesting – and practical – results. The science of spin bowling yields some interesting – and practical – results. Wallula Junction

Could the physics of spin bowling turn the Ashes around?

After the first day of the third Ashes test cricket match between England and Australia it may be a good time to consider how spin bowling might affect the outcome of the series - and how science can be…
If the current Ashes series tells us anything, it’s that the roles of Australian triumphalism and British despondence when it comes to sport have finally been reversed. If the current Ashes series tells us anything, it’s that the roles of Australian triumphalism and British despondence when it comes to sport have finally been reversed. EPA/Tom Hevezi

Triumph, despond and the sporting ‘nation’: the Ashes continues

The caravan tour of the England-Australia Ashes series, spanning two hemispheres and ten Tests in the space of six months, now rolls on to Manchester’s Old Trafford ground. The current series has so far…
Australia fell just short in the first Ashes Test. Australia fell just short in the first Ashes Test. EPA/David Jones

Media misses point on cricket’s Decision Review System

The first Ashes Test was indeed a veritable thriller. England edged Australia by a mere 14 runs, after an absorbing four-and-a-half days of action to go one-up in the best-of-five series. For those not…
Did playing against his brothers in the proverbial great Australian backyard help Ashton Agar to his stunning Ashes debut? Did playing against his brothers in the proverbial great Australian backyard help Ashton Agar to his stunning Ashes debut? EPA/David Jones

The making of a champion like Ashton Agar starts in the home - or the backyard

Cricket fans worldwide are in awe of the talented teenager that threw Australia back into the ring to contest the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge. Melbourne cricketer Ashton Agar chalked up 98 runs in…
Cricket commentators like Richie Benaud attract cult followings and satirical impersonations. Cricket commentators like Richie Benaud attract cult followings and satirical impersonations. AAP/Dean Lewins

Cricket commentary: an art or a science?

The Ashes are now upon us, and both sets of players are in the midst of the first Test at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge ground. As we sit down to watch the Test on television, it is worth reflecting on the…
How can fast bowlers, such as Australia’s Mitchell Starc, minimise the likelihood of injury? How can fast bowlers, such as Australia’s Mitchell Starc, minimise the likelihood of injury? AAP//Dan Peled

Fast bowlers can reduce injury risks and inflict pain in the Ashes

Another Ashes cricket series is upon us and, once again, all the talk is about who has the most potent bowling attack. But, of course, injuries can thwart the best laid plans – so how can biomechanics…
The Barmy Army, England’s loud travelling band of cricket supporters, may add colour to the Ashes series, but are they just rehearsing colonial stereotypes of Australia? The Barmy Army, England’s loud travelling band of cricket supporters, may add colour to the Ashes series, but are they just rehearsing colonial stereotypes of Australia? AAP/Tracey Nearmy

The Ashes: time to replay the postcolonial pantomime

When Australian prime minister Julia Gillard was summarily dispatched in June by her parliamentary team, the British media were bemused. Hadn’t Australia weathered the global financial crisis with aplomb…
Australian cricket fans have long taunted English fans over having foreign-born players in their national team, but they may need to find a new subject for their banter. Australian cricket fans have long taunted English fans over having foreign-born players in their national team, but they may need to find a new subject for their banter. AAP/David Crosling

The citizenship hobby horse is a bumpy ride for Aussie cricket fans

One of the more bizarre hobbies of Australian cricket fans is to taunt and berate the English cricket team for the number of South African-born players in its ranks. This has been standard fare in most…