England versus Australia. Now there's a clash to whet the appetite. Two bitter rivals slugging it out on the cricket fields of England. So why do we feel so underwhelmed about the prospect of the five match ODI series that starts at Lord's today?
Well for a start there are no Ashes Tests to follow the hors d'oeuvre of the coloured pyjama brigade. Worse, the series has been solely arranged for the benefit of mammon and television. Catastrophically, the imposition of this needless series coupled with the Olympics means that the forthcoming Test series with South Africa will be played over just three Test matches.
So forgive our cynicism and negativity about the five match series. England are playing thirteen (or is it fourteen? To be honest we've lost count) matches this summer. No wonder, Kevin Pietersen decided to give this ridiculous schedule a miss.
England-Australia clashes are supposed to be special. This series clearly isn't, and with back-to-back Ashes series next year, thousands more one day games and yet another Ashes series in England in 2015, the ECB and Cricket Australia are in danger of diluting the brand and making England versus Australia as appealing as the prospect of a dinner date with a group of Barclays investment bankers.
Bob Diamond or Michael Clarke? It shouldn't be a contest but with 30 encounters between the two sides scheduled for the next 18 months, the odious Bob may be preferable come early 2014.
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