Ashes Diary: The man to blame for England's collapse? Er, their bowling coach

Hat-trick hero Peter Siddle paid handsome tribute to his mentor yesterday after sending England reeling. "He has played a massive part in my development and I spent a lot of time with him before I played Test cricket," he said.

"As I was growing up, I got the opportunity to do a bit of coaching with him. He has been great supporter of my cricket and he's a great coach."

How charming it was of him to remember the man who helped him on the way up and with whom he still keeps in touch. And who is this paragon, who was so responsible for nurturing the man who wrecked England's first-day Ashes dreams? None other than David Saker, the England bowling coach.

England might have been further disquieted by Siddle's additional comments. "It's disappointing to see him in opposition colours, for sure. But I still stay in contact with him and hopefully one day he will be back behind us."

Beckham blunders

Strauss and Co aren't the only Englishmen disappointing Down Under at the moment. David Beckham is in the country for LA Galaxy's encounter with Newcastle Jets tomorrow but not everyone is chuffed. Apparently Becks forgot to greet onlookers at the airport. "You'd think a little wave wouldn't be too hard, would you," said a woman called Lisa in the local press. "'I came here to see Becks because I can't see him on Saturday because my work Christmas party is on, but I would have liked a wave." And I thought we were supposed to be the whingers.

Aussie punks gob on English hopes

Apparently the Aussie press is a bit down on their current side, but you wouldn't have known it from the response to England's first-day travails. "Sid Vicious smashes Poms," said the Herald Sun: "Peter Siddle ripped out England's heart with a drama-charged hat-trick he completed with a replica of the sandshoe crushers that gave Jeff Thomson his place in Ashes legend... Ashes battles are filled with individual heroics and Siddle wrote a chapter of his own on his 26th birthday," they added. "Siddle hat-trick tears England apart," claimed the Australian, rather more prosaically, while "Siddle hat-trick rocks England," was the best the Sydney Morning Herald could come up with. The Age, meanwhile, picked up the Sid Vicious line and ran with it: "The man they called Sid Vicious made England's middle-order look like punks," they wrote. Which punks, they don't say – but I'd guess The Damned.

Tourists take charge in the cyber battle

England may or may not win the Ashes this winter (may not looks a better bet after the first day) but there is one way in which we can be sure of beating Australia, and that's in terms of population. No surprise, then, that we've got them on the run on Facebook. The latest moronic craze to hit the social networking site is a mini-Ashes battle consisting of a race to get people to 'like' either the England cricket team or their Antipodean rivals. As I write, England has 14,600 'likes' to Australia's 11,100. Read that and weep, Aussies.

Hero's mum prefers pyjama cricket

Plenty of us will have watched the first day's cricket in our PJs, but at least we had the excuse of it being the middle of the night. Not so Peter Siddle's mum. "I was sitting here in my pyjamas because I had the day off work," said Allison Siddle of the moment she saw her son decimate England's middle order with the first Aussie Ashes hat-trick in 16 years. "Pete can perform so well when he's under pressure. I just hope this gets some of the non-believers off his back. I've been very superstitious and didn't want to leave my seat. It was unbelievable." Unbelievable is right. It must have been about 4pm in Oz. Even students are up and about by then.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor