Accidental Twitter celebrity offered free trip to Australia

American woman's Twitter name confused with storied cricket series

This one's a little hard to explain, especially if, like me, you know next to zero about cricket. So I'll let the Associated Press help out:

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!!!" By the way, I'm willing to wager that no one in the world has ever had to make that statement, on Twitter or elsewhere, before 22-year-old baby sitter Ashley Kerekes of Westfield, Mass. Despite Kerekes's initial annoyance, a grassroots Twitter campaign started, increasing her number of followers from a modest 300 to more than 7,000 by Monday. Sensing an opportunity, the Bay State resident began offering T-shirts with her now-famous declarative tweet. But it gets better. Qantas, the Australian airline, tweeted from its corporate account that it "wants to see theashes in Australia. We'll fly her from New York to Australia for the Ashes!" Then Vodaphone Australia offered to spring for her match tickets. Kerekes, who says she got her nickname "The Ashes" from her boyfriend (which, one hopes, earns him a trip as well), says she's studying up on cricket rules. Good luck with that, Ashley. It looks like a pretty complicated game for the uninitiated. Fortunately, some matches apparently can go on for five days, so you may have some time to work out the game's intricacies while you're over there. One tip: A "Googly" apparently has nothing to do with the online search engine. And that taps out my cricket expertise. Anyway, I need to get back to building followers for my new Twitter account, "alsotheashes".

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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