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Andy Bichel reflects on Worcestershire and Australia's continued fine form

Since my last article, we have had some excellent results at Worcestershire. Even in our loss to Nottingham, we were in control of the game for three days and it was a brilliant innings by fellow Aussie Greg Blewett that brought about our demise. We have won our other Championship games easily against Derby and Gloucester and that has helped move us up the table to fifth position with six games left.

We have also had a good time with our one-day cricket and I received the chance to play in my first floodlit game in England. We have actually played two floodlit games in this period and have won both of them easily; we were lucky enough to win the toss both times and bat first.

I think that fact has helped in these games even though the lights don't really take effect until you are well into the second innings. There are only four light towers in these games with all of the lights transportable on the back of trucks which move from ground to ground. I think Sky Sports do a fantastic coverage of these games and it really promotes cricket in the right way.

In recent weeks, we also had an excellent win against Middlesex. This leaves us on top of the table in the Norwich Union One-day League - on equal points with Durham - and we have yet to play them twice.

Our biggest game of the season thus far is probably the one tomorrow against Leicestershire in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy quarter-final at home. We played well in the first two rounds and hopefully we can continue it tomorrow. Shahid Afridi is their overseas player (replacing Daniel Marsh), and we will have to keep him quiet along with several other good players who have been performing well this season. In short, we will have to be right on our game.

Don't you think that the last one-day series between England, Pakistan and Australia is something that should happen more often these days?

When I was growing up, it was expected that a good hard series would be played between teams of this quality. OK, I admit that England were disappointing but it was still Australia up against England and that's what the people want to see.

Whether it's on TV or live matches, these games aren't hard to sell for the marketing teams. For many years in Australia now, a weaker international side has made up the numbers really. I understand that these teams have to start somewhere, but all I feel is that it is better to see these teams in action against each other and to see the best side prevail on the day.

Another problem that is increasing in the game these days is the occurrence of pitch invasions and instances of bad crowd behavior which create dangers for players' safety. It's something that has been happening for a long time now. The one-day series just finished certainly contained the worst pitch invasions that I have ever seen.

The first-class grounds in Australia use to have a problem with this as well but it was soon fixed. Anyone who stepped onto the playing surface was hit with a hefty fine, and this policy soon slowed the flow of people onto the ground. I think, when it first started, it was all done in good spirits: a few beers with your mates and a small bet and dare someone in your group and away you go. But now it has been spoilt by a few and there are serious fines handed out.

The players' safety and the wasting of time are important to TV companies and the players alike. Therefore, I would like to think that, if the same fines are put in place in England (or anywhere else in the world for that matter), it would help stem the flow of people onto the playing arena. I believe that hitting someone in the back pocket is where it would really hurt most.

As for the current Test series, it has been dominated by Steve Waugh's boys. They're playing some fantastic cricket and they have been for some time now. The aggressive style is something I love to watch and to help create.

People in England have come out in big numbers to get a look at the team because I think they realise that this is a special side. The crowd numbers in Australia last year were large and, even though we were winning easily, the team still filled the various grounds across the country.

I have spoken to quite a few English people about the Aussies and even they are saying it's men against boys. For me, though, it has been a little disappointing: this series was built on England having all their players fit and some have been hit by injury. This means they will always have an excuse. My prediction: Australia to win 5-nil.

Andy Bichel

  More Postcards
Andy Bichel on life in England and Worcestershire's mixed start to the county season

Champions again - Andy Bichel reflects on another great season from Queensland