Bluey playing cricket

While the current Ashes series is keeping cricket fans enthralled on and off the field, a recent backyard cricket-focused episode of Bluey had viewers of all ages transfixed - and many emotionally affected.

The episode – available to watch on ABC Iview – focuses on Bluey’s cricket loving friend, Rusty, who plays cricket any time and with anyone and any ball and sleeps with a cricket bat by his bed.

If you think any of this is – or Rusty’s playing style – reminiscent of Test champ, Steve Smith, you would be correct. Series creator Joe Brumm recently revealed that Rusty was modelled on the prolific batsman known for his twitchy style.

But it is the episode’s spot-on recreation of so many people’s childhood experiences that has engendered the emotional reactions – and several references to Rusty’s family situation which we won’t spoil for you.

"As is so often the case with Bluey episodes, almost every scene evokes memories we can all relate to," wrote ABC journalist Simon Smale, citing the satisfying but, of course, out six hit by Bluey's uncle, the adults getting serious when being threatened by a talented kid showing them up and Rusty’s ultimate breaking of the kitchen window.

"The entire episode was a snapshot of the quintessential Australian backyard cricket experience."

Many viewers took to Twitter to share their reactions: "Hell of a 24 hours. Bluey left me in bits. Everyone else I speak to similarly in bits. Details perfect. Soul. Australian cricket is in good hands with Rusty", tweeted Sam Perry, while Greg Jericho opined that cricket would become the new national sport in the US once the Bluey episode aired there.

Covering the Ashes, cricket journalist, Melinda Farrell, said "all I want to ask players is if they’ve watched the Bluey 'cricket' episode".

Bluey himself isn’t so keen on playing cricket at the start of the episode, saying that it is just about "hitting a ball around the grass".

But, as Dad Bandit says, "Cricket's about more than that, kid".