A cricket fan has made the upcoming Ashes series a whole lot more interesting by staking £250,000 on England to win.

The plucky punter presumably laid down the bet after seeing England’s steadily improving form during their lead-up matches in Australia. However, the high roller won’t even double his money – his payout is a worth £187,500 profit.

As a result of the bet Ladbrokes cut England from 7/4 to 13/8 to win the series, and spokesman David Williams said: “As opening salvos go this has to be one of the bravest. It’s a monster bet and a sure sign of the confidence behind the England team.

“They’ve got all the momentum and this bet has all but confirmed our position on the eve of the Ashes: we’re terrified of an England win.”

Australia are now 10/11 to regain the famous little urn, with a drawn series a 9/2 chance.

Ladbrokes have England captain Andrew Strauss as a key wicket. He’s the 7/2 favourite to finish the series as England’s top batsman.

Graeme Swann is 7/2 to be the top bowler from both sides.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting is at 3/1 to be the top Australian batsman or 6/1 to be the top runsccorer of the series.