Cricket

The Ashes: Why no bus parade for England heroes?

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Ten years ago and the country was rocking. England had beaten Australia with the odds stacked against them, with every individual playing their part. London was swarming with people as the celebrations got under way. The open bus that drove through was met with roars on every corner. 

But a decade on and, despite the current crop doing the exact same thing, it already seems ancient history. Talk is all about the upcoming ODIs, rather than any celebratory parades. The Australia team they have just beaten may not have the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, but were favourites before the series nonetheless. 

And England did it. Resoundingly. The fifth test was lost but only once the England team had taken their eye off the ball, focused on revelling in the moment rather than robotically consigning it to the memory banks. There were moments when they were so good, that a 4-1 win would genuinely not have flattered them.

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Sky and the other broadcasters are the problem. At that point 10 years ago, parks were full of people taking stumps, bats and balls in order to copy the antics of Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen. Footballs, for once, were left at home. 

It was cricket's finest hour this side of the pond. For once the celebrities were the men in white rather than the ones in red or blue. Sky snatching the sport from Channel 4, limiting those who can tune in, has done it no favourites. With BT, it will do the same.

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These broadcasters do not just deal with sport, they deal with people's internets, television services, phone lines and much much more. And they're clever, always renewing and, when they up their prices, they know it means more money and never less custom. Switching in order to get a sport's package isn't as easy as clicking your fingers.

From the moment Sky, who cover the sport tremendously well, obtained the right's it was cricket's chance gone. Stuart Broad's terrific spell of 8-15 was a feat that perhaps eclipses the five wickets Flintoff took at Lord's in 2009, something that was talked about for weeks and even months after but already the former's achievement has ran out of superlatives to describe it.

The Ashes was, as ever, a pleasure to watch and witness. Alastair Cook has suffered so much criticism and scorn, but despite rallying to silent his critics will not get his moment to bond with the London crowd. Nobody wants to celebrate a sport they cannot watch. It's as simple as that. 

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Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
Australia cricket
The Ashes

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