Stumbled upon a nice piece from the Editor of Cricinfo.com, Sambit Bal.
Cricinfo - Blogs - From the Editor - An unhealthy obsession with the Ashes
I have to admit I am in agreement with the Editor's views there. The hue and cry raised by the British broadsheets and tabloids carry no merit and in fact is hypocritical and myopic. How conveniently the forget that not only English players like Strauss benefited from playing in domestic cricket of the countries England toured, but also that in not so distant past, touring teams used to play atleast four to five first class matches before playing a test match. And there is nothing documented to my knowledge that such exposure evened the home advantage to nil.I am staggered at the way large sections of the English cricket establishment and even the English media have managed to work themselves up over Kent signing Stuart Clark for the first part of the next summer.
Not only is it a needless distraction, but it also reeks of hypocrisy. Have they forgotten the generosity New Zealand extended to them by allowing Jimmy Anderson to play for Auckland to gain match practice during Englandís last tour there?
And this quote from Andrew Strauss is a bit rich: "It's very easy for the counties to be short-sighted and worry about their next championship game and season Ö From an England team's point of view it's important we all need to buy into the fact that an England team performing well helps everyone, including the counties." He was the other beneficiary in New Zealand, playing five games for Northern Districts.
Both sides, particularly English team has been bleating about the Ashes from a long time back. It is as if the intervening test series were some sort of "practise" games to build up momentum for the coveted urn. Times have a changed.