Prime Minister John Howard predicted on Thursday that Australia would regain the Ashes but welcomed the return of “the old rivalry” to the series in recent years in a BBC interview.
Speaking before England’s first match on the Ashes tour against a Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra, Howard said he was hoping for a close competition.
The self-confessed “cricket tragic” told BBC radio: “I think every cricket lover would like to see it close. “I expect Australia to regain the Ashes. I’m not only hopeful but I’m confident.”
He predicted that England would miss injured players Michael Vaughan, who captained England to victory in the 2005 series, and fast bowler Simon Jones and said he was looking forward to the matches getting under way. “There is nothing quite like a keenly fought test cricket series between England and Australia.
“With all due respects to all other sports, and they’re wonderful and I love them all, but nothing quite like that,” he said.
“This is beyond all of them. It’s the fact that the old rivalry has been given a new bite and that is terrific. “Like all Australian cricket followers, I was glum-faced about 2005 but I would have to acknowledge that it was good for the game, that we’ve got this great spirit of competition back.”
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, November 10th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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