The Associated Press November 29, 2010, 5:13PM ET

Twitter mixup earns free cricket trip for US woman

A woman from Massachusetts who has been bombarded with Twitter messages from cricket fans around the world could end up with a free trip to Australia to watch the game she says she knows nothing about.

The woman, whose Twitter username is theashes, began to gain a lot more attention after the 66th Ashes series between England and Australia began on Thursday.

Her initial, plaintive response was to tweet: "I AM NOT A FREAKING CRICKET MATCH!!!"

But that only encouraged some mischievous Twitter users to tell others to follow her, and as her fan-base grew, so her attitude appeared to soften. By Sunday, she was inquiring about the rules of the centuries-old game.

That prompted a campaign on the micro-blogging website to "gettheashestotheashes" and Australian airline Qantas then posted the following on its Twitter account: "Qantas wants to see theashes in Australia. We'll fly her from New York to Australia for the Ashes!"

Vodafone Australia has since offered to pay for her match tickets.

Her initial following of about 300 had swelled to more than 7,000 by Monday, and she has now started to cash in on her celebrity status by offering T-shirts for sale featuring her initial tweet.

The website of Australian newspaper Brisbane Times has revealed the woman to be 22-year-old baby sitter Ashley Kerekes from Westfield, Massachusetts.

"I most certainly would not object to a free trip to Australia!" she told the newspaper. "I'm working with some people on some things.

"I intend on reading up on (the) rules and such as soon as I recover from the shock. Right now, I'm just having a blast reading everyone's tweets to me."

She explained that her boyfriend had given her the nickname The Ashes some years ago, hence her now infamous Twitter handle.


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