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Cricket on front pages as England clinches Ashes

 England captain Andrew Strauss celebrates after the fourth Ashes cricket test against Australia at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 2...
 England's Graeme Swann, front, performs a dance with teammates after winning the fourth Ashes cricket test against Australia at the MCG in Melbourne,...
 A video screen displays the result at the end of the fourth day of the fourth Ashes cricket test at the MCG in Melbourne, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. E...

Australia England Ashes Cricket

England captain Andrew Strauss celebrates after the fourth Ashes cricket test against Australia at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 2...

Australia England Ashes Cricket

England's Graeme Swann, front, performs a dance with teammates after winning the fourth Ashes cricket test against Australia at the MCG in Melbourne,...

Australia England Ashes Cricket

A video screen displays the result at the end of the fourth day of the fourth Ashes cricket test at the MCG in Melbourne, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. E...

The ease of England's Ashes-clinching win over Australia meant newspapers back home didn't even have to wait a day before proclaiming a first successful defense of the urn for 24 years.
The 11-hour time difference between Britain and Australia's east coast means fans back home usually have to wait an extra day to savor descriptions of victory in the traditional medium of print.
But England wrapped up victory before lunch on the fourth day in Melbourne to make sure it keeps hold of international cricket's oldest prize until 2013, no matter what Australia does in next week's fifth and final test.
In a move usually only made for football, almost every one of Wednesday morning's national papers trumpeted England's cricketing glory on its front page.
"Wizards in Oz," The Guardian said above a photo of the players celebrating next to Ben Hilfenhaus, the last man out in Australia's innings defeat.
"Thr-Ash-ed," was the pun on the back page of The Daily Mail, while The Daily Express went with "England Urn Glory."
But despite years of Australian dominance _ including a 16-year hold on international cricket's oldest trophy between 1989 and 1995 _ most papers and pundits resisted the urge to gloat over the result.
The Guardian lamented what may be a sad end to Ricky Ponting's tenure as Australia captain.
The scorer of 12,363 test runs over 15 years, the 36-year-old Ponting averaged just 16.14 in the current series and only the lack of an in-form credible successor seems able to prolong his time in charge of a side in urgent need of rejuvenation.
"It would be a brave man to gamble Ponting will not respond with something heroic in the fifth test in Sydney," the paper said. "And Punter is a brave man."
The understated response could have something to do with an understandable disbelief.
After failing to win an overseas Ashes test with the series undecided since 1987, England twice beat Australia by an innings and had by far the best of an opening draw in Brisbane. Only a batting slump and some wayward bowling in Perth kept the series competitive.
The Times even used its front page to lament the fact that the series has been so one-sided.
"And so, with a rather dismaying sense of inevitability, it seems that it is all over," The Times said. "There are some who will feel a certain flatness about the comparative ease with which England placed themselves in so dominant a position."
But the paper soon clarified its position.
"Most of those who share such a feeling haven't lived long enough."


Updated : 2021-08-04 12:10 GMT+08:00