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Bacon’s Bites on the Ashes: A day/night Test match. At last we can all join in!

02 December, 2017 - 09:00
England's Jonny Bairstow runs onto the field at The Gabba, Brisbane. England lost the First Ashes Test.

England's Jonny Bairstow runs onto the field at The Gabba, Brisbane. England lost the First Ashes Test.

PA Wire/PA Images

Mike Bacon’s looking forward to the day/night Ashes Test in his latest Bacon’s Bites column.

England's Joe Root during a nets session at the Adelaide Oval, ahead of the current Second Test.England's Joe Root during a nets session at the Adelaide Oval, ahead of the current Second Test.

For those of us who don’t suffer from insomnia, the second Ashes Test Down Under couldn’t come soon enough.

It’s a day/night match, at the Adelaide Oval and started this morning at 4am.

That means, if you are reading this with your toast, Frosties (other breakfast cereals are available) and a glass of orange juice (smooth, or with bits), then you could actually be watching or listening to the action now – and it’s light outside.

Isn’t that so much better than having to pretend you can cope with watching it through the night and still manage to function the next day?

Or even worse, taking a day’s holiday the day after sitting through the night, having watched the Aussies bat three sessions and end 335-1!

I don’t know about you but I can’t sit up to follow the Ashes.

England's James Anderson celebrates the wicket of Tim Paine during day three of the First Test. England and Australia currently are involved in the day/night Second Test.England's James Anderson celebrates the wicket of Tim Paine during day three of the First Test. England and Australia currently are involved in the day/night Second Test.

Last Saturday night I decided to try and, despite the wife telling me ‘not to sit up and listen to that rubbish all night’, I turned on Test Match Special, as England looked to build on a precarious lead of about seven, with eight wickets left in their second innings.

After falling asleep as the excesses of the night set in, I eventually came round at 1am, listened in and skipped/tripped up the stairs in a pretty good mood, a wicket had not fallen and England – passing 50 – appeared to be putting up a show.

Typically, I woke up seven hours later, headed to my iPhone which was still in the charger much to my surprise – until I remembered both my boys were staying at friends overnight – to find out if England had batted out the day. I was disappointed. Defeat was in sight.

And that’s the trouble with Ashes Tests in Australia. It’s all or nothing.

What’s the point of listening into the first hour, going to bed content, only to find you missed the England collapse by 10 minutes on awakening next morning?

My mum can never get to sleep.

Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss.Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss.

She can sit up all hours watching Jeremy Kyle, Force New Zealand, Place in the Sun, Home, Away or wherever, even Bullseye (nothing in this game for two in a bed!), and be bright as a button next day. Thing is, she hates cricket. What a waste of insomnia that is.

I like listening to TMS in the car.

A great way to get the family to sleep I find.

Only thing is, an Ashes series Down Under means the family are usually asleep anyhow, just not in the car!

For the next few days however, I will enjoy the Ashes. A chance to listen (don’t have, or wish, for BT Sport) to TMS.

It hasn’t been an auspicious start for Joe Root’s side, with Jonny Bairstow feigning some sort of headbutt apparently to Australia’s Cameron Bancroft in a bar.

Bancroft has laughed off the incident, while he and Bairstow said there was “no malice” intended.

“It’s something he (Bairstow) does with his rugby mates,” according to England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss.

What? Bairstow walks up to his rugby mates and pretends to headbutt them? Fair enough! Does Bancroft play rugby then? So many questions, let’s move on!

Still, made for some fun headlines. And seeing as most of us don’t see or hear much of the ‘live’ Ashes action, at least we are being entertained by the off-pitch antics – as per usual!

Now, where’s Tiger Moth Gower?

Did you read this week about the 14-year-old goalkeeper who made his Irish Premiership debut for Glenavon?

Conner Byrne made his debut for the Lurgan team as they triumphed against Portadown on Monday night. Good for him and I hope he has a long and successful career.

Of course, being 14-years-old means Connor still has much growing to do. But Head of the Irish club’s academy, Ryan Prentice, is confident he can handle the physical side of the game.

“The game is not as physical as it maybe was 20 or 30 years ago, when goalkeepers got clattered,” Prentice said.

He’s not wrong there.

I used to play with a centre forward who considered his first ‘task’ was to take the goalkeeper into the net – ball and all – at the first opportunity, when a cross or corner came in.

“Next time, he won’t be watching the ball, he’ll be watching me,” was his reasoning.

He scored shedloads of goals and never hurt a ‘keeper.

Today, he’d be red-carded before you could say, ‘bright yellow boots’.

Back then of course, it was a man’s game.

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