Farewell Sydney, and therefore, the Tour…

It’s all gone by so fast.  A tour that feels like it’s been in the planning for eons is all over in the blink of an eye.

Andrew Strauss gives me his verdict on the tour

The fifth and final leg of the tour, the annual trip up the highway to Sydney, is over with England winning the Ashes 3-1 after a thumping innings win at the SCG.

And with the tour done, I’ll head back down the highway and try and reintroduce myself to reality.  Top of that list is of course welcoming a newborn into the world, but also retiring from a cricket club, both items now generating a lot of excitement in our house.

The tour has been great fun, everything I could have hoped for and more.  I’ve met some great people along the way, established some media contacts both in Australia and over in England too, and who knows what might come of them.

To Peter from The Australian, Jesse from The Age/SMH, Tom, Joe and JJ from the BBC, Ben and Tim from Sky Sports UK, all the English guys I shared media boxes with, including the Two Pricks At The Ashes team, Adam from CATV, and Lachy and Phil from CA, I thank you all for the time you gave this media rookie, and for all the fun and excitement that I found on tour.

While the series result hasn’t gone the way I might have hoped, the cricket has still been excellent, and that’s all I could have asked for.  The friendly banter and outright sledging with my new English buddies has been most enjoyable.

After all was said and done yesterday, I got to say my goodbyes and hand out a few cards, and was very kindly presented with an England tour shirt by Barney from the ECB website, on the proviso I was photographed wearing it.

Celebrating "our" win with Barney from the ECB

So here it is.   Desperate to secure a victory on tour, I very conveniently recalled my English heritage (which My Lovely Wife will hate hearing), and thus celebrated “our” Ashes win.  It was a great moment.

But now it must come to an end.  The real world – and an income – beckons, and so it’s time to re-point the V8 south and again seek out some putting Priuses (Priusii??).

I’m very thankful to have been able to make this tour happen, and I’ve now got memories for a lifetime, even if it means forgetting the score…

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