Before the Christmas recess and before the England cricket team set off ‘down under’ in their quest to retain the Ashes I attended a reception on the Terrace at the House hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Cricket Group with members of the English Cricket Board and some of the England players. Former England batsman David Gower interviewed various people in front of the assembled group including Steven Finn one of the England bowlers. I was immediately struck by the quiet understated confidence he had. He was polite, very sensible and I left the reception with a degree more optimism about our chances of retaining the Ashes. I guess that few if any of those who were gathered at Parliament that afternoon would have dared to believe that we would win the series three Tests to one and that we would win each of those three by an innings. A tremendous result and I was particularly pleased that the England players were humble and magnanimous in victory. Sport like politics often goes in cycles. Just as England were on top in the Botham era and then the Aussies with Langer and Warne ruled the roost lets hope we may now be entering a period when the England cricket team can become the World’s number one team.