How good is Steven Gerrard's front foot defence, or Frank Lampard's yorker? Can Gary Linekar play the off drive to perfection, and how does Rio Ferdinand fare behind the stumps?
Surprised? Well don't be, because some of the greatest England footballers seem to have come under the grip of the Ashes fever, getting together at the BT Sports studio for a game of cricket. And expectedly, there was a good deal of merriment. There were Linekar, Gerrard and Paul Scholes showcasing their batting skills, with shots that would have made a Joe Root proud. There was a copybook forward defence by Gerrard that elicited comparison with Geoffrey Boycott, the legendary England and Yorkshire batsman, some fine wrist work by Scholes and there was some hostile bowling by Lampard, though by the end of the session, we knew that Lampard was a votary of the Courtney Walsh school of batting. At least if the way he wielded the willow was anything to go by. Then there was some banter with suggestions being thrown in that Lampard was engaging in ball tampering.
It is not uncommon to see sports stars trying their hands at a different discipline, either as part of a charity event or just for some fun and frolic. We have seen Jamaican sprint ace Usain Bolt play cricket. Closer home, our cricket stars have often found an attraction to football.
Coming from England, where the game of cricket was essentially invented, Gerrard, Lampard and Co would have found it easier to relate to the sport, as would have Bolt, who can count as his compatriot cricket legends like Chris Gayle, Courtney Walsh, Michael Holding and Roy Gilchrist.
The game that the former footballers engaged in also did its bit to build the atmosphere ahead of what is perhaps the greatest, and certainly the oldest, cricket rivalry-the Ashes. The first Test of the series between England and Australia is slated to start on 23 November in Brisbane, it looks like the Ashes has caught the imagination of one and all.