Australian bookie declares Ashes lost

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> An Australian online bookmaker declared England the winners of the Ashes series against Australia.

Updated: December 17, 2010 18:33 IST
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An Australian online bookmaker on Friday declared England the winners of the Ashes series against Australia, paying out on all bets on England to retain the coveted urn.

With the third Test only in its second day and two more Tests yet to play, Sportsbet said England were the better team and Australia would never be able to win back the momentum.

"Unfortunately for Australian cricket fans the writing is on the wall and we can't see the Aussies coming back from here,"'s chief executive Matthew Tripp said.

"We'd be paying out soon enough anyway so punters may as well have their cash now in time for Christmas."

Sportsbet said it would pay out 400,000 dollars (400,000 US) on bets on England to win the 2010/11 Ashes series after the first Test ended in a draw and the Australians lost the second by an innings and 71 runs.

"Cricket punters are normally very patriotic to the Aussies but they also know a good thing when they see it and it seems everyone has backed England to win this series," Tripp said.

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