In picking the young Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan in an unusually expansive 14-man squad for the final Test at The Oval, England are either drawing a line under the Test career of Monty Panesar or, in keeping him out of the limelight, showing some understanding and duty of care to a troubled cricketer going through a tough patch in his personal life.
England's cricket team has gone from being a national laughing stock to a source of pride over the past 10 years, with the transformation signalled by the memorable 2005 Ashes victory which sparked celebration around the country. Having reached the top of the test rankings, England have since slipped to second, but will hope successive test victories over Australia will be enough to see them rise back to the top.
The dust has settled and suddenly we find ourselves back where we were a couple of weeks ago, with England sitting pretty and Australia holed beneath the waterline and sinking.
England won the Ashes late into the evening in front of a full house at Chester-le-Street.
Warren Brennan, who adapted Hot Spot technology for cricket and runs the company supplying the system, late on Friday night broke his silence on the controversy over batsmen possibly using silicone tape to prevent edges being detected – and did anything but back down.
Two up and two to play is not so bad when you hold the Ashes.
In the end the moment of triumph arrived with the dampest of English fizzles.
When Ian Bell gently pushed the ball into the offside and the umpires removed the bails to call time on an important day in the context of match and series, a familiar ritual was enacted at the non-striker's end.
Andy Flower has dropped the strongest hint yet that Kevin Pietersen will not be offered a new central contract by England next month.
What is it like captaining England on an Ashes tour in Australia? I was fortunate enough to do so in 1978-79 (England refused to consider the next year's tour, with only three Tests, an Ashes series).
For Ahsan Raza, one of the umpires in England's match against the Pakistan Board XI who will also be involved in the internationals to come over the next few weeks, the sight of Stuart Broad in the pavilion had a special significance.
It is one of the beauties of cricket that within the overall narrative of a game lie so many smaller stories, the plays within the play.
Andrew Strauss knows more than most about how conflict can disrupt a dressing room.