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Ashes Tour Diary

Drabble Down Under - Joe Drabble Posted 3rd December 2013 view comments

This tour is getting more surreal by the day.

After spending a few days on the golf course with Bumble and Nasser in Adelaide, the powers that be at Sky took it up a level on Monday by sending a selection of the production team cage diving with Great White Sharks!

Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd shark diving

Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd shark diving

There is, of course, method in this utter madness and the filming of the trip should make fascinating viewing in the build-up to day one of the second Ashes Test from 11pm on Wednesday on Sky Sports 2 HD.

Bumble, Nasser, Ian Ward, two producers a daring cameraman and myself all set off on a boat from Port Lincoln to Neptune Islands - a hot bed for Great White Sharks - on Monday morning, not really knowing what or who to expect.

After a two-hour cruise out in the ocean our blasé captain of the boat announced that he'd shortly be dropping a steel cage into the sea and that he needed four volunteers to go inside to see if they could see any of these beasts.

There weren't many takers...

The first set of guinea pigs, not in our group, didn't see anything and it was next up to Bumble and Nasser to pull on their wet suits and get involved.

Watching Nasser help put Bumble's wet suit on was a sight to behold and when they finally got inside the cage they reported that they had seen 'half a shark' in the distance while the rest of us only saw equally anxious-looking fish on our first dip into the ocean.

Spirits were dwindling as the day progressed with shark sightings at a premium, however the day dramatically turned on its head when Ian Ward popped into the cage, prompting a number of Great White Sharks to circle the boat and cage for the next hour or so!

We all went back in for a closer look and the experience was absolutely incredible. One hairy moment came when a shark made a beeline for a speaker (playing music to attract the sharks) and caused a little rattle of the cage. An incredible buzz and some amazing shots from the under-water cameras too.

After 11 hours at sea we all arrived back at our hotel for a celebratory meal and a chance to relive the day. Even Bumble admitted it was better than crab fishing on Blackpool beach!

I arrived back in Adelaide today and the city has changed rapidly in the two days I've been away. The Barmy Army have arrived in force, the players are here and there is a real buzz about the week ahead.

It was interesting to chat with Michael Atherton on the latest podcast - he is convinced England are set to hand Gary Ballance a debut at No 6, while Greg Blewett believes two spinners would be the best play on his home patch.

The ground has undergone major redevelopment since I was here three years ago but it is just a shame the new 50,000 stadium has not been completed. That said, 32,500 will be here for the first four days!

Let's hope England can silence the majority and finally show some teeth.Watch the second Ashes Test between Australia and England from Adelaide - coverage starts on Wednesday at 11pm on Sky Sports 2 HD

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