Here at Next Goal Wins Towers, we're quite fond of our sport.

Yeah, we're a 'music blog' (whatever that is), but that name didn't come from our hanging out down the park as 8 year olds looking for the latest TV On The Radio remixes on the Hype Machine; nope, it filtered through from our childhood, along with the phrases "Jumpers for goalposts!" and "Can Chris come out to play please?"

But even though football was 8 year old Gareth's first love, it did not own my heart entirely.
As soon as the sun burst through the clouds on a regular basis, and that famous Booker T and the MGs tune signaled the start of the BBC's coverage of the first test between England Vs Australia/West Indies/India/etc, I'd be enraptured (though I did not know by what at the time) by the sheer poetic beauty of the game of cricket.

And so that's why it breaks my heart to see English cricket in the state that it's in.

"BUT WAIT A MINUTE GARETH, England just valiantly won a thrilling Ashes series against an Australian side chock-full of world class talent, didn't they? How can you say that English cricket is in a bad state?" I hear you cry.

Well, my retort to that question is this: for all I know, England haven't won the Ashes, it's all just been a big media illusion. British sport's version of the moon landings, with conspiracy theories abound as to whether or not it all actually happened. I have no proof that it actually happened, because I haven't seen a single ball bowled.
And do you know why I haven't seen a single ball of the 2009 Ashes bowled?

Because in 2005, prior to that year's famous Ashes series, the English Cricket Board sold the rights to all of England's live test games to Sky, rather than to one of the terrestrial channels.

And as such I'm finding it really hard to celebrate. I really am. And yet I long to. Trust me I do.

2005 was one of the happiest summers of my life: the reclaiming of English patriotism from fascist clutches, as sporting events so often do, was riding high on the agenda of the nation's collective consciousness, and the feeling of pride and happiness induced by the novel notion that we English are actually half decent at some sports was something beautiful, and something wonderful that, for those six magnificent weeks we all had in common with one another.
Even people who had never cared for cricket before, could not help but be captivated by Flintoff, KP, Vaughan and co's antics in the fourth and fifth tests that summer.

Even my Mum shouted for joy when Rudi Koertzen pulled those stumps out of the ground.

Yet this year, there's been none of that. And it's all the English Cricket Board's fault.

And this isn't even the thing that breaks my heart the most.
What breaks my heart the most, is thinking of all of those children who were intent on emulating Flintoff with the ball and Pietersen with the bat, on council estates and in parks up and down the country in 2005; and then thinking about how many of them have probably given up those dreams now, and perhaps didn't even realise the Ashes was taking place this summer.
Simply because their parents can't afford Sky.

It's all the English Cricket Board's fault.
Good job on the whole promoting cricket front, chaps.
I hope you're happy with yourselves.


P.s. Just to legitimise this post as fitting in with the rest of the music blog, here's a cricket related song:
The Duckworth Lewis Method's Jiggery Pokery

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Right and Wrong

The Soft Pack - Right and Wrong

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Miike Snow "Burial" from Downtown Music on Vimeo.

It seems you can't go on a music blog without finding an article on Swedish 3 piece Miike Snow at the moment, and their new single 'Animal' is receiving more airtime than a Coldseal Windows Ad, but here's the beautifully shot video for their last single 'Burial'.

Miike Snow Official Myspace


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