The NatWest Series has received mixed reviews before it has even begun - but one man who is excited at the prospect of facing Australia again is England captain Alastair Cook.
It takes Cook back to childhood memories every time he thinks of taking the field against the old enemy, whatever the format.
Five mid-summer one-day internationals, starting at Lord's today, will certainly do the trick.
While others muse on the danger of diluting Ashes rivalry with an inconsequential series - albeit one in which England, by winning 5-0, could make cricket history as the first table-toppers in all three formats - for Cook, simply the chance to take on Australia is enough to tingle the spine.
"When I was a young boy watching the cricket on TV when Australia came over I loved the rivalry," he said.
"Now to have played some Ashes series and captaining the side is really exciting.
"The public do enjoy it, don't they? Lord's is sold out, so it's going to be good."
He is nonetheless mindful of the rationale that yet another ODI series - England will have played 25 matches against Australia in under three years, by July 10 - compromises the product.
"There is always that danger," he said.
"The reason this series is on is because of the 2015 World Cup. We really want to have some warm-ups there to get used to those conditions just before the World Cup.
"As players we don't mind. It's going to be a brilliant 10 days, we hope."
To that end, a little home advantage - for a team who have won their past six series in England - would not go amiss.
Cook is heartened by that record, but does not expect Australia to find English climes out of their comfort zone.
"When we go over to those places we find it a lot harder - and we have to make it as hard as the opposition do when they come over here," he said.
"Clearly England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have quite similar conditions as well. Sub-continental conditions are different.
"I don't see home advantage being as big in this series as they would for a sub-continental team.
"We're used to the slope at Lord's - like when we go to Perth or Melbourne they are more familiar in those conditions.
"I do believe we play well at home - and I'd love that to continue."