On the Front Foot: World Cup, Twenty20 and now the Ashes - that's multi-tasking

In case it gets overwhelmed by imminent events, let's hear it please for the England women's team. To their triumphs in the World Cup and the World Twenty20, they have now added a spanking one-day series victory against Australia. So magnificent was their achievement in taking an unsurpassable 3-0 lead that it prompted their former captain Clare Connor to say: "This is surely one of the greatest teams this country has ever produced, in any sport." That is a big claim to make – wait for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year team award – but it bears close scrutiny. The measure of any good side is to win when it gets tight and that England did last week. Chasing 151 in a match reduced to 29 overs, they eventually needed two to win from the last ball. Horror of horrors, Laura Marsh hit a full toss in the air to mid-wicket. But the catch was spilled; she and Jenny Gunn scrambled the necessary. Lucky, perhaps, but everybody knows about luck and good sides. After the one-day series, England will defend the Ashes they regained in this country four years ago. It will receive a hundredth of the attention of the other contest – and victory for the men may preclude that BBC award – but another twin triumph cannot be ruled out. Women's cricket in England is beginning to mean something important.

Ode to an Ashes urn

There is an Ashes poet. His name is David Fine and he will record in verse, both rhyming and free, scanning and non-scanning, the deeds of the next few weeks, starting at Cardiff on Wednesday. Fine, from Bakewell (wasn't there a limerick about a tart from Bakewell?), is enthusiastic and passionate. However, since cricket lends itself to poetry it seems unfair for him to have the Ashes poetry field to himself. OTFF readers are invited to submit their brief offerings on the Ashes in the next few weeks, beginning with the First Test on Wednesday. Send them to the email address at the end of this column for a chance to win a spiffing Ashes prize.

Edgbaston is polls apart

Recent history always excites the public more than deeds of long ago. It is why the latest popcorn blockbuster invariably finishes miles ahead of, say, 'The Final Test' in lists of all-time favourite movies. But in the case of the Ashes, they may well have got it right, if not in every respect. A poll on skysports.com to judge the most memorable moment since World War Two yielded 4,697 votes. It was obviously a distortion of reality that Jim Laker's unprecedented haul of 19 wickets in 1956 should garner only five per cent of the votes. That says everything about the lack of appreciation for past achievements. Ian Botham's 149 not out at Headingley in 1981 and Shane Warne's ball to Mike Gatting in 1993 were almost level with 17 per cent of the vote each. But way out in front was not an individual achievement but a match, to demonstrate that the team's the thing. The last day of the Edgbaston Test of 2005, when England prevailed by two runs, collected almost half the votes. Some of us are still feeling the tension.

BBC loses battle of image rights

While Sky is claiming the bragging rights with its high definition coverage of the Ashes, that's it for cricket on the Beeb this summer. Its late, late Twenty20 coverage has finished as has its excellent 'Empire of Cricket' series. There is nothing left but the desperate telly adverts (featuring Paul Merton among others) for its outstanding radio coverage.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?