England Cricket Tour to Australia 2018
Tours Managers’ Reviews

Australia v England ODI Series 2018 - Tours Managers' Reviews

February – April 2018

English cricket has trended toward success in white-ball cricket as opposed to red in the past few years. The ODI travellers to Australia were lucky enough to witness an incredible series, of which England were on the winning side of (!), if there is any consolation for an Ashes loss, it would be beating the Aussies on their turf just weeks later! Tour Manager Bob Buckler looked after our groups for the ODIs – see his thoughts on the tour here!

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Bob Buckler

The Ashes was a huge disappointment for us all, however I was lucky enough to have a second chance to beat Australia. Now it’s the ODI series, retracing my steps over five major cities with the added bonus of a brand spanking new stadium in Perth.

 

Melbourne …

Its back to my favourite city in Australia for the start of the ODI series a few days before our customers start to arrive from overseas and the Ashes tour.

Early morning start on Saturday 13th January meeting customers arriving from UK and USA plus others joining us from trips around Australia after the Ashes ended. Evening welcome drinks with an early night for our overseas arriving guests before the first ODI on Sunday.

Just the start we needed what an innings from Jason Roy to help England complete a five-wicket victory and their highest successful run-chase in Australia one very happy group of travellers.

We have two days before flying to Brisbane and our customers are spoilt for choice on how to fill their days. A few lucky ones watched Kyle Edmonds win his first-round match against Kevin Anderson in a thriller five setter in the Australian Tennis Open with others exploring the city and surrounding areas.

 

Brisbane …

We arrived mid-afternoon, that meant time for guests to enjoy another new city with a number of us heading down to Gilhooleys, a favourite Irish Bar during the Ashes for Howzat with discounted food & beverages. Thursday sightseeing with trips to Lamington National Park, Australia Zoo founded by Steve Irwin, City Sights, Brisbane Wheel and a river cruise. Not surprisingly most of us returned to Gilhooleys that evening.

At the Gabba clearly Australia decided they needed more runs out went Zampa to be replaced by Cameron White while we employed three spinners. A total of 270 was inadequate by Australia. Contributions from Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root and finally Chris Woakes that left no fewer than 34 balls to spare, England’s first ODI win at the ground in nearly two decades.

To our great delight a couple of regular Howzat guests married between Sydney Ashes and Brisbane ODI congratulations to them both.

 

Sydney

With the ODI’s being played Fridays & Sundays it’s a rapid departure from Brisbane and hello to the SCG.

Stand up Jos Butler, a stunning century and a great all-round performance from the bowlers helped England clinch the ODI series with two matches to play. Marcus Stoinis kept Australia in the game until the final over, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes closed it out with another smart display of death bowling. Our coach driver turned up the music and we sang our way back to the hotel in great spirits.

Sydney being the city it is offers something for everyone, giving our guests plenty of time to spend the next two days visiting every corner with some venturing further afield to the Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains yours truly had a chill day going over on the ferry to Manly. We went back to the SCG on Tuesday evening for Big Bash Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars.

 

Adelaide …

At 8 for 5 on Australia Day it looked all over for us but thanks to a spirited batting display from Woakes (78) and fine variations from Rashid (3 wickets) we ended up only losing by three wickets, that’s not bad taking all things into consideration. In the early evening a 21-gun salute and fly pass rocked the stadium, on our way home fireworks light up the skies over the Oval a fitting way to finish the official national day of Australia.

 

Perth …

Finally, on our ODI tour it’s the hugely anticipated start of a new a new era with the WACA put to mothballs and 60,000 people expected in the city’s new purpose-built stadium.

With only a short time in Western Australia’s capital it’s all systems go, firstly a walk to the very impressive new stadium only 15 minutes from The Crown Resort that includes our hotel (one of three) and the casino. Tonight is the tour farewell dinner in the Market & Co restaurant. An excellent meal and drinks plus a round of Happy Birthday to one of our group with cake & candles of course.

It’s the only day match of the series which in a way is unfortunate as the entire stadium has 15,000 LED lights that can project team colours around the stadium’s seating area as well as on the roof. Australia’s chase of a modest England 260 looked to be within there grasp but a spell of reverse swing by Tom Curran (5 for 35) foiled Australia’s chase to fall short by 12 runs and a very impressive 4-1 series win.

 

It’s been a great tour with a delightful group of people whose company I thoroughly enjoyed it’s been, as always, an absolute pleasure of course the winning helped!