Ashes Tickets Available – First Test Cardiff

Looking for tickets for the Ashes cricket? They’re like rocking horse shit aren’t they? However I’ve got some good news for you.

A limited number of tickets will be made available for the first Ashes Test in Cardiff at 9am Thursday 25 June.

Tickets can only be purchased online at www.glamorgancricket.com and are available for all four days, priced at £50, £70 and £85, with junior tickets priced at £25. An additional booking fee of £2.50 will be charged to the face value of each ticket.

Tickets are on a first come first served basis so set your alarm clocks and dust down the redial button cuz you’re gonna need it!

If you miss out then it might be worth giving Sky Sports a call. They’re offering a free Sky+ box at the moment so you can record the look on Pontings face when he’s told that the SWALEC Stadium really is the venue for the first Test and not the practice ground…

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England v Australia – Who Has The Edge? Part Two

australia-outI think it’s fairly safe to say that every single England cricket fan enjoyed Australia’s early exit from the ICC World Twenty20. It isn’t too often that us English have a chance to mock the Aussies, so we shall make the most of it. As one spectator put it – ‘enjoy Leicester Ricky’!

This is because the Australian team now have a two week training camp in Leicester to help them prepare for the 2009 Ashes series. Their first warm up game starts against Sussex on the 24th June, so until then they are being left to contemplate their weaknesses in the Twenty20 game.

In all honesty though, the World Twenty20 was the least important part of the summer for Australia. In just under a month’s time, they will be taking on England in the Ashes series and this is what they will be judged on. This is what they will be going back to Australia talking about.

With this in mind, let me continue my look at the two Ashes squads. This time I have a mixture of all-rounders, wicket-keepers and bowlers. Who has the edge in these areas? Let’s find out.

Brad Haddin v Matt Prior – The Australian has the edge in terms of his work with the gloves. Since taking over the reigns from Adam Gilchrist, he has been very tidy indeed. With the bat though, it is much tighter. Prior has the edge with a average closer to 50 than 40, but Haddin can be a very dangerous stroke player.

Mitchell Johnson v Andrew Flintoff – In my opinion, this is the most crucial battle of the lot. I have said for a while that Johnson’s form could be huge for Australia and we all know what Freddie can do when he turns it on. Could both be the ‘turn to bowler’ for their captain’s as well. Johnson probably edges Fred on batting at the minute though.

Andrew McDonald v Stuart Broad – Broad is turning into a fantastic Test cricketer. His batting is continuing to improve and his wicket taking ability is becoming more and more threatening. He seems to have increased his pace as well. McDonald on the other hand, is more of a container than a genuine threat with the ball and has yet to perform too well for Australia.

Nathan Hauritz v Graeme Swann – Everyone knows that Australia are struggling to replace Shane Warne in terms of finding a world-class spinner for their team. Hauritz has impressed in limited overs cricket, but can he make the adjustment to the Test arena? Swann has managed to do it for England by having a fantastic winter and start to the summer. It will be a test for him against the Aussie’s though.

Peter Siddle v James Anderson – Siddle bowls at 90mph and swings it. Anderson bowls around 90mph and swings it. Therefore, these two are very closely matched. Both can be a real threat to the opposing batting line-up. Anderson has more experience though and this could give him the edge.

That concludes the latest look at the England and Australia squads. In terms of these five contests, it is very even once again. The pace attacks are actually quite similar, England have the edge in the spin department though.

Next time we will be taking a look at the remaining English and Australian players. This includes Brett Lee, Graeme Onions, Stuart Clark and Ryan Sidebottom. You wouldn’t want to miss that would you?

Until next time – good luck England in the Super Eights!

By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about Ashes cricket

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ICC World Twenty20 Starts Tomorrow

Twenty20 World CupSo after literally minutes of anticipation, the ICC World Twenty20 competition is upon us. Not only that but it’s the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup too. Be still my beating heart…

Forget the Ashes. This is what we’ve all been waiting for, right? Who cares about that silly, overrated Test match business. This is the real deal. World famous athletes at the top of their game going head-to-head in a bludgeoning battle of ball bashing brutality. If Bangladesh v Ireland doesn’t get your pulse racing then you’re clinically dead already.

Let’s not forget the ladies. Fresh from their success in the Women’s World Cup in Oz, the English lesbians ladies take on the moustachioed might of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to fight for the right to spank New Zealand in the final. Again. My only concern here is that with 22 women on the pitch, who is going to make the teas?

Oh bollocks. Who am I trying to kid? I couldn’t give a squirrels scrotum about the next two and a half weeks. The chances are I won’t even bother watching it. It’s just another example of the I Crave Cash organisation trying to squeeze yet another meaningless tournament into the crowded international cricket calendar.

Want to stop global warming? Stop all these poxy tournaments. I’d love to know what the carbon footprint is for each of the international cricket teams. I’m no tree hugging hippie but I reckon that if you went back to the old days and made Australia travel by boat, the polar bears would have more ice caps than they could shake their left paw at*.

It seems utterly crazy to schedule in the Twenty20 so close to the Ashes series. To all those people who say “it will increase interest in the Test series”, I say you’re talking piffle. England v Australia for the Ashes shouldn’t and doesn’t need any kind of hyping up despite the best efforts of the ECB to ensure that only a tiny fraction of the country can actually watch the series.

So when Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood and Jimmy Anderson get injured in the World Twenty20, are the ECB still going to think it was a good idea?

Still, on the plus side the boys at King Cricket are practically walking around with a permanent lazy lob as a result of Rob Key making it into the England squad, Andrew Symonds’ international career can now be officially classed as over following his latest drunken antics and let’s not forget our old friend Shoaib “I’ve got genital warts” Akhtar. Quite possibly the best excuse for pulling out of a squad I’ve ever heard. If only he had pulled out of the ropey old Doris he caught it from…

* all polar bears are left handed. Did you know that?

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