I'M OFF to Perth two weeks tomorrow - and can barely contain my excitement.
The Ashes series which starts in Brisbane today has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events of the decade.
That spell-binding victory over the Aussies last summer is still fresh enough in the memory to again stir the pulse of the thousands of converts to the game.
The images of Brett Lee being consoled by Freddie Flintoff (left), Kevin Pietersen smashing sixes all over the place at the Oval, Shane Warne continuing to prove he's one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time, will be re-awakened and let's pray for a repeat result.
Having seen our rugby league team eclipsed by the Aussies last weekend we need our cricketers to perform to prevent too much pommy-bashing and it promises to be another enthralling series.
The key for me will be how our batsmen cope with Warne, McGrath and Lee - all ageing, but all determined to go out in a blaze of glory and win back the coveted urn.
If we can post big scores we'll put them under pressure in front of their own fans, and maybe then Monty Panesar (right) can become a worthwhile contender for Sports Personality of the Year, but if Langer, Hayden, Ponting and Gilchrist get on top of Harmison, Hoggard and Anderson early on, we could crumble.
I don't like the look of a tail that starts with Hoggard at No8 because that puts too much pressure on those above them in the order and could prevent them playing their natural games.
But there we go again with that word pressure.
I wonder how Marcus Trescothick will feel watching it all unfold at home while he's painting the ceiling?