Curry on cricketing
Posted in England v West Indies 2009
The start of a new summer, a huge summer, a great exhibition if you will.
With it comes a fresh feel in the England camp. Ravi Bopara will bat at three, there are debuts for Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions, as well as a Twenty20 Squad bristling with talent and opportunity.
For England of course, nothing is bigger than the Ashes, but with the Wisden Trophy up for grabs as well as that ICC World Twenty20, it all matters a great deal.
It's the West Indies first and a chance to immediately avenge that Test series defeat in the Caribbean. England couldn't quite force home the opportunities they had and one would suspect that's an area which the now official head man Andy Flower will be addressing.
However, there were plenty of positives to take from the tour - Strauss leading from the front, a maiden hundred for Bopara, runs from Matt Prior at number six. Time has literally run out though in terms of Ashes preparation so the performances from everyone over the course of these next two weeks will most likely determine that first Ashes team.
This first morning at Lord's though is where all focus is at present and for many it's a bit like the first day back at school. Old faces catching up, tales from the winter, banter flying around the media centre quicker than a Jimmy Anderson in-swinging yorker.
For ECBtv, we'll be following all the action as normal, speaking to the players and coaches, and getting you closer to what should be a fantastic summer of cricket.
There was certainly a feel-good factor in the England camp as they trained prior to the match - contributed to in part by the boundless enthusiasm of spin coach Mushtaq Ahmed.
Looking fit and healthy in his new England training kit, Mushy jogged over and demanded I accompany him for a curry this weekend. Whether I live to the tell the tale is another thing, as I'm not sure the words 'Chicken Tikka Masala' exist in Mushy's house...
Watch out for our exclusive interview with Mushtaq on ECBtv soon.