Friday, October 29, 2010

The Ashes prelude!


From one of the most eminent rivalries in cricket, to one of the most exciting contests, ‘The Ashes’ has it all. The Ashes is not too far away now, being less than a month away. Coming from an ardent Australian cricket fan, I’d love to throw light on the significance of the series.

The Ashes is one of the oldest and most zealous series in cricketing history. Its origin dates back to 1882, after a match played between the two countries in which Australia beat England at the Oval for the first time, and a newspaper contained the satirical obituary that stated, English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and’ The Ashes’ taken to Australia.

On 2 September a more celebrated mock obituary, written by Reginald Brooks under the pseudonym "Bloobs", appeared in The Sporting Times, It read:

In Affectionate Remembrance

of

ENGLISH CRICKET,

which died at the Oval

on

29th AUGUST 1882,

Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing

friends and acquaintances

R.I.P.

N.B.—The body will be cremated and the

Ashes taken to Australia.

When this is what The Ashes meant way back then, with advancing times, the rivalry and fervor with which it is played has also advanced to a new level. The emotions that stir while watching the players walk onto the field is an emotional as ever. Watching the Men sporting the ‘Baggy Green’, walk onto ‘The Gabba ‘fills you with pride and devotion like never before. Sure that the Pommies will have their Barmy Army backing them, but this year, it’s being played on our soil, our territory, our kingdom and there will be the war of the hemispheres. We’re right up there when it comes to playing with ardor, making a match out of nothing, bouncing back in marshy times and trying, fighting till the last second of the game, giving it our all.

We dream big, elevate our goals, and set the highest benchmarks, all in the pursuit of excellence. We’ve encountered ultimate success, experienced atrocious failures, and ridden on the wave of highs and lows in recent times. But, that has only given us character. Character to believe in ourselves; to celebrate our victory, not someone’s failure, character to still aim high, character to fight, fight till the last limit of our potential, character never to compromise on the standards we have set for ourselves even if that means, offending the world, the character to take failure with as much grace as we take success and last, character to never give up.

It does not matter, what statistics say, what rankings say, what the world says, as long as we’ve got our eyes set where they need to be. Ricky Ponting, has indeed inspired people beyond the mind's eye. If a man has the gift of inspiring common man, possessing merely an indomitable spirit that only inspires you to dream big, believe in yourself and conquer all your fears, then, he indeed is the right man to be leading the Australians into the series without a doubt. If you as a leader have pushed your troops to always play for a result, the result may or may never be in your favor, but what matters is the attitude, to win or to fall trying to win and to get back up and maintain the same.

The Baggy Green is a priceless possession for any Australian cricketer, and watching the lads walk out is a feeling beyond words. It is overwhelming to watch your boys take stance to bowl the first ball or face the first ball being bowled. This year’s Ashes, cricket of the highest quality will be witnessed and the youngies will be tested. It is up to the future stars of the Australian cricket team to stand up and prove themselves against what is a much more experienced English side. Expect no mercy from either side. The only thing that will make my team stand out will be the zeal to beat the Poms at home. This year too, the Ashes will be brought back to where it belongs!

John Arlott, an English journalist wrote, "Australianism, means single-minded determination to win - to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the 'impossible' is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it - and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match - particularly a Test match - until the last run is scored or their last wicket down."

AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI OI !!

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