Ashes Diary: Never pass up a chance to wallow in Aussie misery

Given how considerate of Englishmen's feelings Australians were during their 15-year Ashes tyranny, perhaps it would be better to draw a veil over their current soul-searching. After all, it's not like they rubbed it in every chance they got between 1989 and 2005. Oh, actually they did. In that case let's have a good, heart-warming wallow in Baggy Green misery.

Ron Reed in the Melbourne Herald Sun has decided to cheer up his readers the best way he knows – by clutching at straws. "Not for nothing is 'funny game, cricket' the most well-worn cliché in the whole spectrum of sport," he writes (is it?). "Strange things happen. People find form and they lose it. Nervous tension creeps in – and there's no one more nervous than a nervous Pom."

Others are angrier. One letter writer to The Australian believes the English have been handed a big advantage in terms of support. "Almost as embarrassing as the performance of the Australian cricketers has been the 'home-town' atmosphere the England team has been able to enjoy," writes Trevor Hay, of Western Australia. "Cricket Australia needs to do something to redress the balance. If this means giving away tickets to pensioners, the unemployed or schoolchildren to lift Australia's support in the stands, then so be it."

Spoof advert makes 'good call'

Most of us will have seen adverts for a well-known brand of lager in which two Australians hand out advice to pasty English pillocks. Given Australia is now officially the world's fattest country, it's a somewhat inaccurate representation of the England-Australia relationship, but this should redress the balance: I like the bit when he gives Ricky Ponting's face the V-sign.

Warne under-funded

And what of the "Bring Back Shane Warne" campaign? The website ( has been inundated with Aussies pledging their hard-earned since it went up earlier this week but they still look some way short of the sort of dough that might tempt an international jet-setter like Warne back into the game: just over A$4,000 (£2,500) at the time of writing.

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