John Howard, the self-styled "cricket tragic" who takes seems blissfully unaware of either one-day cricket or Twenty20, made a cameo appearance at Maroubra Beach this morning to toss the bat prior to the Australia v England Beach Cricket international. England won.
Just finished listening to an interesting half-hour interview with Bob Woolmer on the BBC World Service. It's available online until next Saturday (the 27th).
Just a few additional observations:
If the game was a sell-out, and the official attendance was 35628, then that's about 11000 members who didn't turn up!
If we didn't know before, we do now. Australia's 5-0 drubbing of England in 2006-07 is the first such triumph since 1920-21. But which was the bigger achievement?
"The performance in the Ashes series has been a great disappointment and a number of lessons must be learned. This review will be comprehensive and broad ranging with the clear objective of regaining the Ashes in 2009 and significantly improving England's results in one-day international cricket in the next four year cycle."
- ECB chief executive David Collier, 5.1.07
Not since the Harlem Globetrotters last beat the Washington Generals has a foregone sporting conclusion been so rapturously and emotionally received by a sell-out crowd.
All over by lunchtime. Australia 5, England 0. Warne 708, McGrath 563, Langer 7698, Buchanan 68-11-10. Lots to reflect upon and digest, but that will have to wait for this evening.
Yes it's that time again, when the populists and the ignoramuses (or in John Howard's case, both) call for the urn holding the original "Ashes" to be kept in Australia. At least until England wins again.
As Malcolm Fraser used to say: Let me be quite plain.