Never mind the genius of Shane Warne's spin or the tenacity of Brett Lee; the best thing about Australian cricket is the greatest of commentators, Richie Benaud. This will be the last summer (after forty-two summers) he will commentate on a Test in England, and that is very almost reason enough never to watch cricket again, even if England win the Ashes this time around. Benaud comes across as a true gentleman, of the kind that are probably few-and-far-between these days in both England and Australia, and Jo and I could listen to his voice all day long.
Benaud has been present at more Test matches than anyone else, living or dead, and has gone on record saying that - regardless of whatever may happen in the final Test, yet to be played - this Ashes series is the best Test series he has ever seen. He'd be more qualified than anyone else to know! And he'll be sorely missed over here.
(After yet another thrilling match over last weekend, England are 2:1 up. Australia can't win the series, but if they win the final Test they will draw the series overall and retain the Ashes; a win for England, or a draw, will see England win back the Ashes for the first time in eighteen years. The tension is unbearable. If the final Test goes into the fifth day, we'll be on a plane and - potentially - won't know the all-important final result until we arrive in Perth. It is a result that could have a marked effect on what sort of welcome we get there...)