In exactly one month's time, England and Australia are to lock horns once more for an Ashes series, but sadly on this occasion the series could be spoiled.
Cricket's authorities continuously find themselves having to defend their scheduling choices against charges of 'overkill' and 'money-chasing', and now the Ashes has fallen victim of other priorities.
The two old enemies are set to stage the second instalment of their 1970s revival of Ashes-to-Ashes, with back-to-back series for the first time in 38 years.
Is the historic rivalry - one of sport's greatest and most popular head-to-head contests - being outrageously devalued?
Having the occasional back-to-back series once in every few decades might be excused, and even unavoidable.
But this winter is just the start of it: less than 18 months after the upcoming Ashes are played in Australia, we'll have yet another Ashes series, back in England.
Your eyes do not deceive you. There really will be three Ashes series played in two years. It represents an unprecedented glut that has already lead to inevitable accusations of scheduling choices cheapening a treasured event.
Under the usual arrangements of Ashes series every two years, England would have been due to go to Australia in the winter of 2014-15. So what changed to disrupt the schedule so drastically?
With Australia to host the ICC World Cup in the early months of February 2015, that would have meant a stay of up to five months for the England players.
As a direct result, the decision was made that England would tour Australia a year early, in the winter of 2013-14. Fair enough, you might think - but organisers were worried that the England v Australia contests would "lose momentum" if we all waited until 2017 for the next Ashes series. So they decided to shoehorn an extra Ashes into the equation, bringing forward the 2017 Ashes by two years.
They had justification for that choice, too: it means that the Ashes should no avoid potential future clashes with the World Cup.
But the trouble is that fans are largely left without the usual anticipation or excitement ahead of a crucial Ashes series.
Normally, fans can't wait for the Ashes to begin. It's mouthwatering. The losing side are itching for revenge, the winning side are desperate to give their favourite opponents another pasting in what have been probably the most exciting cricketing encounters in the world over the past decade or so.
But having only just watched England secure another series victory against Darren Lehmann's tourists this summer, the thought of buying into (literally in terms of Sky Sports' TV coverage) another five-Test contest just months afterwards seems frankly ridiculous.
The first Test at The Gabba in Brisbane gets underway in a month today - less than three months after the fifth Test finished at The Oval, which capped England's tireless efforts to ensure that the little urn remained in their grasp.
It's not only the fans who would rather wait for the anticipation to build before another Ashes series is thrust upon them.
The players, to whom an Ashes series represents the pinnacle of their careers, will have no problem motivating themselves for another one so soon after the last - but their bodies may not be so accepting.
There was a comparatively large gap of five months between the last back-to-back Ashes series in 1974-75, providing a welcome respite for England's batsmen when Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson were in their pomp, but that is hardly the case this time around.
"It's pretty heavy duty stuff," former England coach Peter Moores said when the decision was originally made.
"To be playing your showpiece series twice in quick succession without the gap in between would be tough and not necessarily the easiest sell – sometimes the gap in between can be part of the attraction."
England team director Andy Flower would no doubt agree given he has always rallied against the exacting schedule that is demanded of his side and others in the chaotic world of international cricket.
Former England batsman David Gower told Sky Sports that he was against the decision: "I understand why we have back-to-back Ashes series this year but I'd much prefer a schedule that allows you to play Australia, West Indies, India or whoever at home and then replay the series away further down the track.
"I don't like this particular set-up, especially when it involves two five-Test series, even if it means that over a period of time you don't play each other any more often. I think that an international schedule that spreads the home and away series evenly is a much better thing."
Of course, there are significant reasons why there are two Ashes series in a year and the ICC remain adamant that it was the only appropriate course of action.
But the fact that there are so few people talking about the upcoming Ashes series with a month to go until the first Test suggests that overkill could be a very real cause for concern.