It's odd being an English fan when the team is doing well. Even when celebrating moments of success, we're always looking ahead to the next thing as well don't like to dwell on good things in case it looks like we're rubbing it in.
When we did well in South Africa last winter, we were thinking about the Ashes. When we won the World T20, we looked ahead to Australia. When we beat Bangladesh and Pakistan, it was all in preparation for retaining the urn Down Under. And we're about to retain the urn Down Under.
Winning the Ashes is the be all and end all for the English cricket team. But even when we took it back at the Oval last year, thoughts started to drift to making a decent fist of it in Australia. While the class of 2005 will be remembered fondly for winning the greatest series of them all, their 2006/7 brothers can't be forgotten for losing in the most embarrassing way possible. While winning the Ashes is huge for English cricket (and doesn't happen very often), winning them in Australia is something else. And England are about to do that.
England have had a brilliant series. While it wasn't a vintage display at Perth, other than that, England have dominated this series, and this (yet to be confirmed) Ashes win is the culmination of a lot of work. This team, honed and created by master tacticians Andy Flower and Andy Strauss, have been built together since Flower's appointment last spring, and are on the way to world domination. Best team in the world in T20 cricket, two Ashes in the bag, and the 50 Over Worlds to come in a few months.
England fans don't really know how to celebrate or react to our new-found success. Given recent histories (including only 23 months ago the Pietersen / Moores debacle amongst many other embarassments) we don't really know what to do. We're not a winning nation. So here's my advice. Stay up late, watch tonight's play. Sing along with the Barmy Army. Get your England flag and give it a wave. And celebrate!
COME ON ENGLAND!
Note. Already I've heard a few people talk about the importance winning two Ashes series Down Under in a row...