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


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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