Are you geared up for The Ashes yet? The most fiercely fought test series in cricket starts in Brisbane on 23rd November 2006 and culminates in the fifth and final test in Sydney on 2nd January 2007. The England squad has been named with Andy Flintoff confirmed as captain and you can be guaranteed that Freddie will be urging his team mates to reproduce the form that saw them pip the Aussies last time round, when a draw in the final test at the Oval was enough to assure England a 2-1 series win. It took 16 years for England to get their hands back on the Ashes in 2005, and they won't want to let go of the ultimate cricketing prize in a hurry.
However, last time they travelled down-under in 2002-03 they were humbled 4-1 by a dominant Aussie outfit. They'll be looking to produce a much better series of performances this time around. Australia, however, are chomping at the bit to take revenge on the 'Poms' following their poor and heavily criticised performance on these shores last time round in 2005, and whether you'll be joining the 'Barmy Army' and heading to Oz, or following the games from here in the early hours they promise to be nail-biting affairs.
So, what does the Test series mean to the online gambling world? Internet betting is one of the fastest growing areas on the net, and this collection of games could prove a bonanza for online betting operators. The series has already prompted a flurry of bets, both online and in the traditional bookies' offices, and the punting looks set to continue apace and with aplomb. Because of England's inability to get anywhere near the form that saw them win the last series combined with their key players frequently succumbing to injury, Australia have been installed as clear odds-on favourites.
But you can bet on so much more than the ultimate winners of the series. You can also bet on the following associated with the series: The match that will produce the most runs; player to take most catches; first batsman to score a century; how many wickets will Flintoff take? That's just a sample, but come up with something Ashes related and there's probably an online gambling site somewhere that will offer you odds! All of that makes for a great book, as online operators compete on prices and come up with ever-more innovative bets to attract the punters' pounds. Plus, with the advent of broadband and greater processing power the internet is fast becoming the beast it was destined to be. Because of those dual innovations the 2006/2007 Ashes Series is set to provoke a massive uptake in 'real-time' betting during the games as the advantage swings from one side to the next, or where any chance of a win seems so remote that massively favourable odds will be dangled in the hope that they will be taken up by punters at little risk to the online bookies. The clever money is on Australia, the patriotic money on England, where are you putting yours?.
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