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  Tuesday, 3 December, 2002, 12:17 GMT
Reasons to be cheerful
Nasser Hussain smiles
Nasser perks up with BBC Sport Online's help

Okay, England may just have been thrashed senseless by Australia.

Sure, that's now eight Ashes series on the bounce in which England have been stuffed out of sight.

Big deal. There are still hundreds of reasons for England fans to feel chirpy as they prepare for further pastings Down Under....


You're not alone
So what if England have been thumped in Australia? It happens to everyone.

South Africa, the West Indies, Pakistan, India - they've all been walloped by the Aussies on their home patch.

Only New Zealand got away with it - and that was because the weather saved their streaky bacon.


No-one cares (1)
According to the United Nations, there are 192 countries in the world.

Before anyone from Puerto Rico emails in, or the whole debate about Taiwan blows up in my face, the exact number doesn't concern us here.
Steve Waugh holds a trophy
Help yourself, Tugga - no-one's bothered

What matters is that there are only 10 Test cricket-playing countries.

In other words, roughly 95% of the world couldn't care less about cricket - so what does it matter if the Ashes are won or lost?


No-one cares (2)
Lost in their own celebrations, the Australian team have overlooked one crucial point: no-one in England cares about cricket any more.

Fans over here have become so used to crushing losses that we now barely raise an eyebrow in defeat.

The news that England have lost another Ashes test is on par with being told that January will once again follow December.

Big wow.


Cricket v football
Fifa's current world rankings show that 203 nation states play international football.

Do not concern yourself now with the difference between a nation state and a country, as recognised by the UN.

A glum-looking Nasser Hussain
Cheer up Nas - we're better at the popular sports
Instead, ponder for a moment on the fact that England are ranked sixth in the world - while Australia languish at 47th.

So, in a sport that 100% of the world cares about, England are several streets ahead of the Aussies.

And Harry Kewell's boys are so bad that they are ranked below such laughable collectives as Iran, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago.


Cricket v rugby
Not quite such a strong line, this one, what with Australia being reigning world champions and favourites to retain their crown next year, but go with it.

Last month, England beat Australia 32-31. You know what they say - you're only as good as your last result.

Back in the 1980s, Australia would regularly thrash England at rugby.

And if the chaps at Twickers can turn things around, why can't the duffers at Lord's do the same?


Kylie lives in London
Hats off to Australia for producing Ms Minogue.

Kylie Minogue sings in concert
Kylie - little interest in cricket
If the almost 35-year-old Kylie was English, she would inevitably now be both pasty and turning to fat.

But what counts is that she has chosen to live in London - along with the vast majority of her country's young, talented citizens.

This despite England having a climate - particularly at this time of year - which is an absolute disgrace compared to Australia's.

It doesn't matter how bad we get at cricket. Faced with a choice, even Australians would rather live in England.

All the news ahead of the 2002/03 Ashes tour

Tour in review

Test series

Clickable guides

Background

Play the game
Links to more The Ashes stories are at the foot of the page.


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