It seemed like a good idea at the time. A fresh start in a new job and the achievable goal of getting back on the road as soon as possible. Save, save, save. Get out to Australia again to watch Captain Cook and his brave lads as they do battle with their bitter rivals in yet another instalment of one of sport’s oldest rivalries.
At the end of August this plan was beginning to bear fruit. The flights were booked, some of the match tickets too, and for good measure England, in a gloriously hot, tenaciously contested series, had triumphed 3-0.

Confidence was high among my fellow supporters, who, buoyed by their team’s seemingly un-shiftable grip on the trophy booked flights in their thousands to board the bandwagon bound for Brisbane. Then the wheels came off.

Oh, how they came off.

Two right hammering a later, the minutiae I won’t go into here- you can read that pretty much everywhere else on the cricket pages of the Internet but it has a lot to do with the miraculous return form of Mad Mitch (pictured below)- and it looks like the worst idea since Stuart Sutcliffe decided etching over strumming would be a sounder career choice.

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And, as if the miserable state of affairs England find themselves in wasn’t enough, there’s even pressure on me to deliver too. ‘Go out there and bring the boys some luck’ seems to be the overriding sentiment of the well wishers bidding me farewell for my latest voyage.

‘Bring England luck.’

Me?

Really?

What, like the sort of luck I’ve brought my football team, Luton Town in over twenty years of following them. Or, the sort of fantastic luck I’ve had with my career? Or my legendary luck with the opposite sex?

Have things got that bad?

Never one to shirk a challenge, with my whites safely stowed, my levels of contempt for Australian beer topped up and, especially after that last comment on the previous paragraph, tongue firmly in cheek, I embark for Australia carrying the hopes of a nation. Or at least the good people of a few villages in Mid-Bedfordshire.

And anyway, despite the score in the series looking as parlous as it does currently, there are a lot worse places to follow your favourite team to. I saw the ‘atters get beat 7-1 at Grimsby in freezing January once for goodness sake.

Sleeves rolled up, upper lip suitably stiffened I head to Australia for the last three Test Matches in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney with the odds stacked against my beloved team. Come on England. I still believe.

Altogether now, ‘Three-two, we’re gonna win three-two….’

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