The Ashes: We haven’t won anything yet

OK, let’s all take a deep breath and calm down a bit.

Yes, I know it’s exciting that our boys have retained the Ashes over in Australia for the first time in 24 years. I’m sure it’s a wonderful achievement.

But - and forgive me for tipping water on the outpouring of joy - we haven’t actually won anything yet.

Were we to go on and lose the fifth and final test in Sydney, retaining the Ashes on a 2-2 draw would surely have to go down as a very hollow victory.

I know it’s great that the Aussies, weak as they currently are, can’t beat us in the series and subsequently we get to keep that tiny urn.

So let’s prove how much better we are by tonking them good and proper in the final test and doing a real victory dance in front of their weeping, broken fans. Then it will mean something.

Because I’m afraid at the moment we are all hopelessly caught up in that most English of things - celebrating not losing.

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It’s the same way in which we rejoice when England qualify for a major football tournament - despite being nowhere near actually winning anything - or used to swell with pride when Tim Henman lost bravely in the Wimbledon semi-finals...again.

As a country, we lack the killer mentality and always will until we refuse to accept anything other than victory.

Not losing is not the same as winning. Retaining the Ashes is not the same as winning them outright.

So, put the champagne on ice for now. The job’s only half done. Let’s pop that cork in Ponting’s face after we WIN the series in Sydney.

- What do you think? Let me know at

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