CRICKET: The Ashes are ours: So hand them over
By JON PIERIK
HAND it over. . . now.
The time has come for the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord's to hand over cricket's most famous prize - the tiny little urn known as the Ashes - to Steve Waugh and his world champion Australians.
It's ridiculous that the original urn - which after all was created in Australia in 1882-83 - remains housed in England when the Old Dart hasn't won a series against us in 14 years.
The Australians deserve more than a replica urn which the MCC gave to Don Bradman and his Invincibles in 1948 and have handed over ever since to the Baggy Green men whenever they have won the battle.
Put simply, who wants a cheap bottle of wine when French champagne is available?
The Australians want the original burnt bail - and deserve it fair and square.
Claims that the urn is too fragile and could be broken in the long flight over have been debunked by artefact experts.
Anyway, it's not as if it's going to be passed around by yobbos at the SCG.
Where else in the world is a winning team denied the right of parading their well-earned prize?
Even the US handed over the America's Cup in 1983 when Australia became the first foreign invader to win sailing's grandest prize.
The MCC doesn't need to look any further for guidance than the International Cricket Council which allows the World Cup trophy to reside in the country that wins this major tournament.
The Ashes have been moved three times - for exhibitions in London in the 1930s and 1990s - and to Australia in 1988 as part our bicentennial celebrations.
It's time to send them Down Under again.
Is this true? Does England still have the original ashes despite such a long losing streak?
This year will be the fifteenth year you will have lost to us
Ducks for cover back to the Australain forum