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'Got to be special'

Clashes between old enemies must remain unique, say journalists

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The Cricket Writers on TV panel have warned that England v Australia clashes may lose their lustre if they are played too often.

"That's the one worry about playing Australia and over-doing it because then people will just expect them to come all the time and eventually that will wear thin."

Derek Pringle

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The two sides are currently in the midst of a five-game one-day series and Michael Clarke's men are due to return next July for a five-Test Ashes battle, five more one-day games and two Twenty20 fixtures.

The current series is being played in front of sold-out crowds and the matches have garnered plenty of column inches, but Derek Pringle of the Telegraph believes the fixtures are superfluous and would have preferred an extended Test series against South Africa instead.

He said: "My one worry is that you become over-reliant on Australia becoming the only way you can interest sports editors and other media outlets about cricket.

"That's the one worry about playing Australia and over-doing it because then people will just expect them to come all the time and eventually that will wear thin.

"It's got to be special. Maybe the point was made that we've got this series, another one next summer with the Ashes and then an Ashes the following winter.

"So that's four Australia series in the space of 18 months."

Attention

It has been argued that a series against Australia has kept cricket in the headlines, despite a lot of attention being focused on other big events such as Euro 2012, Wimbledon and the Olympics.

The Mirror's Dean Wilson recognises that these fixtures provide a rare chance for many cricket fans in the UK to see Australia outside an Ashes year, but he remains concerned about the prospect of overkill.

"We [cricket writers] see it all and so maybe there is that temptation to be a little jaded by so many matches.

"But if you think about people at Headingley, Old Trafford or Durham, who don't get to see live international cricket that often then of course they want to go and see England play Australia. It's bread and butter for them.

"But I do think people aren't stupid. Jonathan Trott has talked about trying to keep England-Australia clashes special and the fact is that they come back in 2013 and 2015 and we go to Australia for the World Cup beforehand and we're playing one-day series against them before that.

"Familiarity does breed contempt and we have to be careful not to make it an everyday occurrence."