Monday, August 29, 2005

They think it's all over...

I did think of entitling this comment 'It's coming home,' but I see that everyone else has done that already.

This series just gets better and better. I spent another hour or so glued to the sofa on Sunday, not daring to shift as the fourth Test spun and seamed to a nail-bitingly close finish.

I doubt that anyone would have offered a repeat of the infamous 500-1 on an England win that a couple of Aussies couldn't resist back in 1981 at Headingley, but the way that series has twisted and turned, someone would have placed a bet on an Australian win. And they nearly collected, with Lee bowling like a demon and Warne working his special, patented brand of magic. In the end, of course, we made it - although Flintoff and Jones weren't able to provide the fairytale ending - that was left to a climactic duel between Giles and Warne. We'd expect nothing less.

Aside from me having to explain the finer points of the follow-on and the declaration to someone entirely unfamiliar with the game, I've seen kids around the area with brand new cricket sets. Even my other half is starting to take an interest in the game. That's how good it is getting.

Anyone else wonder if perhaps Channel Four are starting to regret not paying a little extra to secure the coverage? They've whinged that they can get 1.5 - 2 million viewers by putting on an old black and white film rather than paying millions for the cricket, but there aren't many films that will drag in 7-8 million viewers to the fourth channel, are there? And when we get to the Oval in a fortnight, anyone care to bet on the viewing figures then?

As Aggers puts it, this will be the most most eagerly anticipated sporting occasion here since the 1966 World Cup Final. He isn't kidding, but something tells me that the excitement in this series is very far from over. Watch this space....

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