the Ashes get closer

No tournament in cricket or rugby is ever going to have the cachet of the (football) World Cup – the pool of teams is too small. Apparently, for the last World Cup, TV audiences in Thailand were bigger than the global TV audience for the last Rugby World Cup. On the other hand, having less teams is a hell of a way of building up rivalries. Especially since, if you’re English, the main nations that play rugby or cricket – Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France – are all either ex-colonies or local rivals. Local rivals being a polite term for ‘ancient enemies’.