A good summer to start watching cricket.

Most of my life I have scoffed at cricket. I’ve considered it a complete waste of time. “What is the point of a game that lasts 5 days and you are only likely to get tickets for one of them?” I would wonder. It’s not even a ticketing situation where you can sensibly try and buy tickets for the 5th day as the whole thing could be over on day 3, just like it is today.urn

But cricket, once you take a few moments of your time to understand the game, and then uncover a whole vast of statistics and possible outcomes to any given moment during those five days then it really is an interesting and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) exciting sport.

Given today’s 4th test ashes win against Australia in what amounts to a bit over two days, there were still moments of uncertainly. Yesterday afternoon when Australia came in to bat for their 2nd innings and started to notch the runs all of the joy from the previous days dumping of Australia all out before lunch seemed to fall away. And I suppose that is the joy of the game. Even when it looks great, nothing is certain. When you win a test match, you really have won it. England have still had to work hard (although they were essentially in complete control) to take the 4th test and in winning it by an innings they have earned back the Ashes urn that was taken from them so emphatically in Australia in November 2013.

A cricket expert I certainly am not, but it’s great to have a new sport, that I can now understand and appreciate in my arsenal. It’s certainly something to fill those long football-less months during the summer.

Well done England on winning back The Ashes.

Photograph: Nick Potts/PA