On the Front Foot: Posh Poms add spice as Aussies tell old school ties to get knotted

So Andrew Strauss has landed in Australia as the 33rd England captain attempting to bring back the Ashes. He will be entirely to Australian tastes – articulate, intelligent, reasoned, well-spoken and smart. In other words, a posh Pom. He can expect to be demonised as all that typifies the mores of the old country. Since he possesses all those attributes listed above he will not easily wilt, but it will not be for lack of Aussies trying. Educated at Radley, one of the great old English public schools, and Durham University, Strauss will be grist to their classless mill. They have not had quite such a perfect specimen of posh Pom since Mike Brearley (City of London School and Cambridge) 30 years ago. In the old days, of course, England, or at least MCC, regularly used to send posh amateurs as captain. Of others who won, Plum Warner (Rugby), Johnny Douglas (Felsted), Percy Chapman (Uppingham), Douglas Jardine (Winchester) and, of course, the first Ashes-winning captain of all, Ivo Bligh (Eton), were all public school men – and the Aussies let them know it. But a changing world was evident in the last half of the 20th century and two Yorkshiremen, Len Hutton and Ray Illingworth, won famous series on the back of being schooled in Pudsey and the University of Life. Strauss may be a jolly nice chap but if he is as loathed in Australia as Jardine was, one thing is certain: England will be winning.

Army put up sterling fight

Each of the five Ashes grounds is expected to be full of English supporters. By the end they may be down to their last buck as this is the most expensive of all England tours to Australia, estimated to be costing 80 per cent more than eight years ago. The reason is the recession, the strength of the Aussie dollar and the weakness of sterling: in 2002 the exchange rate was A$2.78 to £1; it is now A$1.58. There will be no more chants from the Barmy Army of "three dollars to the pound". And it might curb some of the more excessive bacchanalian exploits. A trip costing A$10,000 eight years ago would, according to brokers currencies.co.uk, have cost £3,500 compared to £6,300 now. The Barmy Army will only be singing: "Ouch."

Nobody wants you

John Buchanan's position with the England team is a mystery. As a former Australia coach with an enviable record, it might be thought he has something to offer as an adviser despite, or maybe because of, Shane Warne's low opinion of him. But barely had he finished than he called Kevin Pietersen fragmentary and individualist, a theme he first took up four years ago. It was strange he should take English money, then enter the phony war on Australia's side. Pietersen contented himself with suggesting that he was a "nobody".

There's no fast track to success

It's a batsman's game all right, and bugger the poor old bowlers. Australia sacked their former fast bowler Merv Hughes as a selector, meaning that the panel of four consists entirely of batsmen. England's panel has two batsmen and two spinners. Fast bowlers should launch a protest movement.


Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Life and Style

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album