Ashes to ashes...

Ashes cricket is a thrilling thing, and so is much of the coverage around it. Test Match Special is sports commentary at its best and Yes it's the Ashes is a newly-discovered delight*. Five's highlights programme is pretty decent too but it highlights my problem: if I want to watch this wonderful sporting event in its entirety, I have to pay Sky around £30 a month, and I'm just not going to. Free-marketeers can tell me that's my choice; they're correct but not right.

David Conn has written a penetrating analysis of the true costs of the ECB reducing its audience from 8 million to 1.5 million. His Inside Sport blog often makes for unsettling reading, let's hope the newspaper reports on the rest of this Ashes series don't produce a similar reaction.

* Sample quote: "[Australian player] looks like his face was set on fire and then put out with a bike chain."