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If I can just give to the world more than I take from it, I will be a very happy man. For there is no greater joy in life than to give. Motto : Live, Laugh and Love. You can follow me on Twitter too . My handle is @Raja_Sw.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Edgbaston - the evening calm

It must be all quiet and calm at Edgbaston at this moment. There must hardly be any signs of the drama that took place earlier in the day today.

Nine hours after one of the most amazing cricket matches ever, I am choosing to write this piece. Anybody who knows me out here, knows that I am one of the most vocal supporters of Australia in this Ashes series. There are reasons for this - I will try to elaborate on these at a different time.

Writing this piece is not easy. It is always difficult to write about a match that you are so passionate about and which your team has lost.

How do you mask the disappointment of coming so close to winning and yet ending up on the losing side ? How do you, as an Aussie supporter, reconcile yourself to a 1-1 series situation when, secretly although very hesitantly, you had conjured up images of a swaggering 2-0 ?

The answer is, very simply, you DON'T for the first question and you DO for the second.

There is no shame in expressing your disappointment in ending up on the losing side. It is the most natural thing to do. Any pretence of bravado or casual indifference is insulting to the Ashes. Cricket lovers are passionate about the Ashes - and are fully expected to feel the pain of defeat or the euphoria of victory.

Having said that, the Aussie supporters now have to accept the result for what it is. There is no point in discussing umpiring decisions - that is all history. The bottom line is that England won the Test and levelled the series. The margin of victory is irrelevant - it was enough to allow England to believe they are on level terms with the Aussies and can win back the Ashes after a gap of 18 long years.

Freddie Flintoff mirrored the English point of view after the Test when he said, very matter-of-factly, in reply to a question about whether England could win the Ashes "We've got to".

Thanks to the English victory, the series is very wide open. Both the teams, and all of us supporters move on to Old Trafford, Manchester. The scene of many a notable Ashes match. It promises to be another cracker - and if the last two games are any indication, this Ashes series may go down in history as one of the best-ever, if not the best.

Let us consider ourselves fortunate to be part of this wonderful period in Ashes history. What we should consider ourselves even more fortunate for is that we have had the opportunity to enjoy the series together. It is infinitely more fun to enjoy a game in a group than to do it on your own. Here at cricbuzz, thanks to the wonderful efforts of admin and his team, we have all been able to be part of this series and enjoyed it immeasurably. I can never forget the tension in the chat today during the closing stages of the Test. That is what the game is all about - for, at the end of the day, it is but a game. Let us not lose perspective.

Edgbaston 2005 had everything. From fiery fast bowling to awesome batting to brilliant spin to superb catching to dubious umpiring decisions to a courageous fightback all the way to the last minutes of the game. In the years to come, when people talk about Edgbaston 2005, we can proudly say - "you know what ! I followed every minute of it, to the last ball".

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