The test match at the MCG is always eagerly awaited as it starts Boxing Day once again we found ourselves in a strong position due to 3 quick wickets with the Aussies playing on and in reply an excellent knock of 244 by the Chef (Alistair Cook) which was the highlight of the Ashes from an English point of view. The ICC have said the pitch was not up to international standard and with bad weather interrupting the last days cricket the match fizzled out into a disappointing draw.
At Sydney the pitch did not break up as predicted, all the pitches in the series with exception of Perth were flat not offering much to the bowlers but sheer pace was the key. If they had our bowlers we would have piled on the runs.
In all it was not a classic series every match went into a 5th Day, if it had of been a 4 Day test like it has been talked about we would have retained the series and drew 0-0 but then again, the Aussies would not have prepared the wickets the way they did, would they??
Christmas Day at Ludlow’s on the Southbank in sparkling sunshine & New Years Eve celebrations on an authentic paddle steamer under the Harbour bridge were a great success. Everyone had a fab time, and once again more friendships were made, especially the four who named themselves ‘’The Jolly Uppers ”
The end of Tour Dinner went without a hitch at the All Hands bar on Darling Harbour where Sara introduced our surprise guest Sir Ian Botham who mingled with everyone for photos and autographs followed by a Q&A and an auction of water colours completed on location by Judith Pedersen which raised $2700 for Lady Taverners charity.
Huge thanks to Andrew Maidstone for interviewing Ian and conducting the auction and to Judith for her paintings. After the end of tour dinner, Keith, Barry, David & Margaret, David & Sue, Lindsay & Matt, Mark, Simon, Matt, Bryn and I had a great time at the Casino with Chris Gayle who we met outside the Hyatt. I finished the night having another beer with him talking about his career……..So, that was the Ashes, a big thank you to all who came with us. I won’t forget you and will take many memories away with me, you have all contributed in making it an exceptional tour despite the cricket…. now we roll on to Melbourne for the 1st of 5 One Day games.