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For England cricket fans, this has truly been the Winter of Discontent. Whatever hope and gaiety surrounded England’s 3-0 win against Australia in the home Ashes series of 2013 had all but evaporated by the end of the Adelaide Test. Now with the series done and dusted, and the urn returned to Oz in another 5-0 whitewash, it’s clear to everyone that serious changes are in order if England are to turn things around in time for the next home series in 2015.
Everyone has their own ideas about what went wrong. We picked the wrong bowlers. We picked the right bowlers and didn’t play them. Our batsmen were out of nick. There weren’t enough warm-up games. Jonathan Trott going home for medial reasons unsettled us. Graeme Swann’s sudden retirement left us without a proper spinner (sorry Monty, but it’s true). The backroom staff were to blame. The players were jaded and tired from playing back-to-back Ashes series. Maybe – just maybe – Australia were just too good: too fast, too confident, too frightening.
In 18 months the Ashes will be contested again, and I will still be supporting England regardless of what happens in between. Like many England fans, I prize the Ashes above any other series, and am reconciled to the fact that most of our problems won’t be fixed in a few short months. Nevertheless, I have come up with 10 ways in which the Ashes could be got back. Some of them are practical suggestions, some of them are more fanciful, but at your lowest point one should be willing to give anything a try.
Here then, in no particular order, are my recommendations for the ECB…
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