But before a ball is bowled, England Cricket Board chairman Giles Clark has set a cat amongst the pigeons. Cricinfo reports:
Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, has called for England supporters to stop their booing of Ricky Ponting when the fourth Test starts at Headingley on Friday. Ponting has become a target of the home fans since Cardiff, when he questioned Andrew Strauss's stalling tactics, and been jeered whenever he walks on to the field.
While Ponting doesn't mind the treatment, Clarke has written in the match programme that Australia's captain has earned the "the respect and courtesy" of the supporters who "may never see his like again". In his column in the Daily Telegraph Ponting said he was "half-expecting" the treatment.
"There is never anything untoward," Ponting said. "It is always good, light-hearted stuff, and when England have a sniff of winning the volume goes up ten-fold. They add a lot to the whole experience of the Ashes."
We'd say Giles Clark has two chances of having the Headingley crowd follow his request - bugger all and nowt! The Yorkshire faithful are traditionally them most boisterous crowd in English cricket, and we reckon that Giles Clark has just ensured that the decibel level will go up a few points. Then again, perhaps that was his intention!
In the meantime, to get you in the mood for the Headingley test, here's a classic piece of Yorkshire humour ...