With the second Ashes Test delayed by the typically rainy English summer, both sets of players will be sat twiddling their thumbs in their dressing rooms trying to think of conversations to take the edge off of the excruciating tension.
There is no doubt that football will come up. Although they have a career in cricket, many of the players taking part in the 2019 Ashes are massive football fans.
Here are ten of the biggest names in English and Australian cricket and who they support.
He had a difficult first test at Edgbaston and has since been dropped from the starting lineup. However, Moeen Ali recently won his 100th ODI cap for England and his footballing allegiances played a big part in the occasion.
Ali is a huge Liverpool fan and received a letter from his footballing hero Steven Gerrard as he approached the landmark match.
The all-rounder will need to show some of Gerrard’s grit and determination if he is to fight his way back into the team above of Somerset’s Jack Leach.
Stuart Broad tore through the Australian batting lineup in the first Ashes test, proving why he is one of England’s leading all-time wicket takers.
However, he has a slightly tougher time of it in the footballing world. Being a Nottingham Forest fan, the fast bowler hasn’t seen top flight football since 1999, a run that
Peter Siddle & James Pattinson
Peter Siddle and James Pattinson are two of the most consistent fast bowlers in the Aussie’s attack but it looks as if they both have a soft spot for West Ham.
Siddle and Pattinson visited the London Stadium, alongside teammate Mitch Marsh, for the Hammers’ opening game of the season. They witnessed a 5-0 whitewash and will be hoping to deliver the same result against England in the cricket.
Perhaps the most dangerous looking bowler in England’s lineup, things could’ve panned out very differently for Chris Woakes who had the opportunity to try a career in football.
Keith Forman, an old coach of Woakes at Aston Manor Cricket Club, revealed that the England international was approached by Walsall as a teenager and things would have been very different had his boyhood club Aston Villa shown any interest.
Speaking to the Standard, Forman said: “He was a super footballer as a kid…at 14 he had to make the choice between football and cricket. He’d often say, ‘If I was on Aston Villa’s books I would have made the choice of football,’ but thankfully he wasn’t.”
Although he is a player very much on the periphery of the England squad, Warwickshire’s Olly Stone is an option for England should Woakes and Jofra Archer run dry and Jimmy Anderson’s injuries persist.
He may not be playing in the cricket but Stone has been getting involved with his favoured football club. The bowler took part in Norwich City’s 2019/20 kit launch video alongside fellow cricketer Tymal Mills.
James Anderson has the most wickets ever taken by a fast bowler in Test cricket. With 575 wickets and counting, he can be considered one of the all-time greats.
Coming from Burnley, Anderson has a soft spot for Sean Dyche’s side. However, his true allegiances lie with Arsenal.
It seems as though the Aussie’s aren’t into their football as much as their English counterparts. Marsh was part of the Australian gang that watched West Ham’s Premier League opener against Manchester City last weekend.
Yet, Marsh seems to go for the footballing occasion and not the specific team, as he evidently enjoyed watching Manchester United take on Liverpool in last year’s campaign.
Jonny Bairstow & Joe Denly
So, this one is a little different as neither Jonny Bairstow or Joe Denly have been outwardly open about the football team they follow.
However, they have both suffered injuries playing the sport. A tackle from teammate Owais Shah back in 2009 kept Denly on the sidelines, while Bairstow twisted his ankle playing football in 2018.
Perhaps then the England cricketers should stick to what they know best and avoid the football – at least until the Ashes are over.