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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 20:31 GMT 21:31 UK
Aussies admit best team won Ashes
Glenn McGrath (left) and Shane Warne leave the field at The Oval after their final Test in England
Glenn McGrath (left) and Shane Warne leave the field at The Oval
Australia spin bowler Shane Warne praised England after they won an Ashes series for the first time since 1987 after a draw in the final Test.

"England were just too good for us in this series and credit to them," said the Australian legend after England wrapped up a 2-1 series victory.

"I think it was an amazing series. I suppose from a personal point of view it's probably my best-ever series.

"Like everyone else I tried as much as I could but England were too good."

Warne starred for the Australians but even with 40 wickets at 19.92 he could not prevent England ending an 18-year wait to win an Ashes series.

If England play like they have through this series they could be the best side in the world
Shane Warne

"I think we're still probably the best side in the world because we've done it over a period of time both home and away against every opposition and all the conditions that have been put up against us," said Warne.

"But there's no reason England can't do that - if they play like they have through this series they could be the best side in the world once they've played everybody home and away in a few years' time."

It was a difficult summer for Australia captain Ricky Ponting, but he agreed with Warne that the better team won.

"As Shane said, through the course of this series, we just haven't been good enough to capitalise on the opportunities we've been presented with," said Ponting.

"England have played great cricket through the summer and they thoroughly deserve to regain the Ashes.

"They've out-played us in every Test match bar the first one.

Ricky Ponting (left), Shane Warne (centre), Adam Gilchrist (right)
Ponting (left), Warne (centre) and Gilchrist at The Oval

"Congratulations to Michael Vaughan, Duncan Fletcher and their team. They've done a fantastic job."

Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist said that he was looking forward to the challenge of trying to win the Ashes back when England visit down under in 2006/7.

"It's something different for this group of players," said Gilchrist.

"We've been number one in both forms of the game, we've held every trophy against every country at some stage along the way.

"Now the ultimate goal is the challenge to win it back, and we'll relish that challenge.

"All things come to an end, our 18 years have been significant and we never gave up, we kept ourselves alive even when we weren't playing our best cricket.

"We kept it going until the last day of the series, hopefully people will take heart from that."

Gilchrist also hailed Warne as "one of the greatest" after the spinner's achievments with ball and bat - he also hit 249 runs at an average of 31.12.

"He's a remarkable cricketer, he's had an amazing series and he doesn't give up or stop trying," said Gilchrist.

"He's one of the greatest players ever to play, to be associated with him and keep wicket to him is a huge thrill."

Cricket Australia chairman Mr Bob Merriman also paid tribute to England.

"This has been a remarkable series from start to finish and we respect the way that England has played and won in such quality fashion," he said.

"The interest, attention and energy that has been breathed into cricket in England and Australia through this series and the fine performances of the England team is a wonderful result for the global game.

"We look forward to resuming our battle with England for the 2006-07 summer of cricket in Australia."

Ashes review - relive England's winning summer

Interview: Australia captain Ricky Ponting

Interview: Australia's Shane Warne

Interview: Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist


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