It looks promising for England tomorrow, but I'd always be a wary of the those Aussies, I'd never say that it was a foregone conclusion that we've won it, they've had it ingrained into their psyche to 'Never let the Poms win' as Shane Warne keeps telling us and they wont give up.
Is it just me or is there not the same level of excitement about the Ashes this year? Is that because it's not being shown on proper television and therefore the majority of the population have been marginalised and excluded from what is almost our national game? I noted a couple of weeks back that the ECB didn't want the Ashes to be aired on terrestial television and that it went to court over the BBC's intentions to have it aired on Proper Tele. I can only imagine the ECB didn't want that to happen in order that a bidding war could be had between the TV companies that did want to televise it knowing full well that SKY TV would win and pump millions into their coffers. I'm now wondering because of the limited coverage and the lack of involvement/empathy the population has this time round with the Ashes whether there's going to be a longer term downside to this short term greed on the part of the ECB. So many kids would have been denied the opportunity to watch the Ashes this summer and these kids that have been excluded are the potential cricket players of the future? I noted this morning at my local field that there were loads of boys playing football while the cricket was being played at the Oval - it's these boys with their no doubt football obsessed Dads who do have Sky Sports who might have been watching the cricket on SKY TV if it wasn't for the fact that they were playing football. It'd be interesting to see how many of the SKY TV's in the UK have been used to access the cricket as I'm pretty sure that most of them are being used to watch the football rather than the cricket hence the reason it's all quite on the cricket hysteria front.
The Paddock Wicket
On a more Prosaic front I had an idea today based around an article I read about repairing wickets. Because of the lack of rain and the ever decreasing window of opportunity to sow the seeds on the Paddock wicket I thought I'd try out an idea whereby I'd water sections of the wicket on a daily basis and see if there's any scope to start the levelling and integrating the new earth with the existing layer. I tried one small area and the results were interesting and surprising. Firstly the new layer of clay once saturated seemed initially to easily integrate with the existing sub soil layer. I say initially because I need to look at it again tomorrow and see if the integration has taken place or whether the new top layer is just sitting on top of the sub soil layer and will be easily 'Peeled off'? The surprising aspect of the test was that the new clay once made wet decreased in volume massively which in hindsight is obvious, but the amount by which it decreased was massive. I reckon it must have lost 65% - 75% of it's volume.
I'll have another look tomorrow and introduce more top-soil and wet the same area and see if it levels. The idea being if it does level and integrate I'll do this on a regular basis and try and get the whole area flat and then re-wet the whole area and roll it and start seeding it.