Ashes to Ashes

As we write, England are a day away from unveiling their touring party for the Ashes. 16 or 17 men, good and true, will represent their country in one of the finest sporting endeavours on the planet. An Ashes series is the sort of thing that sends a tingle down the spine, that makes you think of years past, of heroes and villains, of the towering figures of cricketing history. There is a special aura around the Ashes. To quote Sir Ralph Richardson, from a wonderful Pathe documentary we’ve plugged before on this blog (found here – http://film.britishcouncil.org/cricket1):

What is it about this unobtrusive game? What is its magic? For magic it must surely be that makes men sit and watch and dream of past occasions and of wistful yearnings never quite fulfilled. Magic it is that makes the hush when captains meet.

But here we sit, having just finished the last dregs of an overlong Ashes summer, watching two thoroughly disinterested sides polishing off a dreary one-day series. There was, we would suggest, little of the magic of which Richardson speaks in the last few matches.
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That T20 / ODI series report in full

Nobody cares. Is it over yet?