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Sydney, Australia – In what many are calling the end of an era, former Australian pace bowler and pre-match ankle twister, Glenn McGrath, has announced he is officially retiring from making 5-0 series predictions.

The surprise move follows Australia’s fifteen run defeat at Lords in yesterday’s opening match of their current ODI campaign against England. A result that came just days after McGrath had once again confidently predicted an Australian whitewash.

Despite flying in the face of England’s recent form at home, few eyebrows were raised at the time as McGrath’s self-assured pronouncements of sporting domination have become something of a tradition. As much a part of the Australian cultural landscape as barbeques, Christmas at the beach and talking loudly about immigration whilst travelling on the London Underground.

But with the balance of power in Ashes clashes shifting towards England, McGrath reluctantly took the decision that it was time to retire his predictions of 5-0 humiliation.

“Frankly, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep a straight face whilst making these kind of pronouncements,” admitted the Dubbo born speedster, “Although seeing Steve Smith batting at number six was the final straw. If the selectors aren’t going to take this seriously anymore, then perhaps it’s time I should.”

Australian cricket fans, however, are less pleased with the decision.

“Seeing the 5-0 prediction retired by Glenn is gut-wrenching. What’s happened to Australia if we’re not pom-bashing anymore?” complained Doug Gibson, chairman of the Australian Cricket Supporters Association, “It’s not as if any of the current players can take up the baton; none of them can count that high.”

The current England/Australia ODI series resumes tomorrow at The Oval. It’s understood that Glenn McGrath has revised his series prediction down to a disappointing 4-1 Australian victory.