‘Welcome to Bazball, mate!’: Crawley sends first ball message as England double down on aggression

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They say the first session, even the very first ball, of an Ashes series tends to set the tone.

If so, Zak Crawley’s glorious cover-driven boundary off the opening delivery from Australia’s captain Pat Cummins said it all: Welcome to Bazball, mate!

This Edgbaston classic on Friday was a first ball to put alongside some of the great lift-off moments in Ashes annals.

Think Steve Harmison ballooning that crazy, super wide ball that ended up being collected at second slip at The Gabba in 2006. Talking about setting a tone; England went on to famously get whitewashed in that series.

And what about Rory Burns in the 2021-22 series at Brisbane, being uprooted by Mitchell Starc first up? That didn’t end up much better for England, either.

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