Ashes diary: Malan’s new arrival, classy Cummins and a Broad grin

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

On the second night of this game, Dawid Malan found out that he had become a father for the first time, as his wife Claire gave birth to a daughter, Summer Skye. She arrived six weeks prematurely, meaning Dawid did not make it home in time.

It became clear earlier on day two that Claire would be going into labour prematurely and Dawid batted twice through a fair bit of uncertainty, as well as leaving the field as England bowled late in the day.

A word, then, for Malan, who has been on tour since September, through the T20 World Cup and Ashes, away from Claire. His performances tailed off in Australia, but it would be perfectly understandable if his mind was drifting elsewhere.

Take a breath

Pat Cummins is a class act. We know that. Despite missing a game in Adelaide – an absurd situation totally out of his hands, handled with dignity – Cummins finished top of the wicket-taking charts with 21, helped by a couple of freebies from England’s tail in Hobart.

Shortly after, he was thanking Joe Root’s beaten team for the sacrifices they had made in touring Australia, and then being inclusive in his teams’ celebration on the podium (where there were no big 4-0 hands this time, sadly).

Cummins paused the spraying of champagne so that Usman Khawaja, the first Muslim to represent Australia, could get involved freely. It was a move reminiscent of Alastair Cook’s handling of his now-BT punditry sparring partner Moeen Ali a few years back. Of course this sort of simple act of solidarity should not be required – surely there must be a better solution than champagne – but Cummins’ small gesture has cut through in Australia and will open eyes.

Broad grin

After Stuart Broad had an argument with a camera on day two, Fox Sports showed their funny side by dressing their “Robot” up as the England veteran, complete with a bandana.

“It’s a nice show of support with the headband,” said Broad when collared by Fox for one of their strange drinks break interviews. “He looks more friendly up close. More annoying 80m away, but a nice little friendly guy.”

Crocked Jimmy

There was some confusion as to why James Anderson did not play in the Hobart Test, even if it never looked likely after he failed to bowl in the nets all week, and England said he had “back and hamstring niggles”. That happens when you are 39 and have played 169 Tests.

“I would have loved to have bowled with a pink ball on this wicket,” he said on Channel 7. “After the workload I’ve had playing three Tests in a row, I had a hamstring issue that was making me lose power when I was bowling. It crept in at the back end of Sydney and we felt it wasn’t good enough to play in this game.”

An omen?

David Warner played a round of golf before the Hobart Test. On the course, he met a family of ducks. Now he realises that it was a foreboding sign for a Test in which he would make his second Ashes pair.

“What can I say,” he posted on Instagram, alongside a video of the little fellas. “When I met you for the first time the day before our game at the golf course I thought you were cute and friendly. But I got the message loud and clear now!”

Express Yourself

Perhaps batting to save his Test career, Rory Burns let it all hang out. His hair, that is. Having tied his long locks up in a bun while he batted this series, Burns took a different approach, letting it run down his back. This is generally how he bats in the nets.

It was not to everyone’s taste. Alyssa Healy, Aussie keeper and wife of Burns’ Bete Noire Mitchell Starc, tweeted: “That hair looks like it needs a wash…”

The Great Escape?

England flew to Australia by charter flight but are leaving instead on commercial planes. They were due to fly on Wednesday, the day after this game was scheduled to finish. It would not be a surprise if a few tried to get out of dodge rather sooner…

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting