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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 December 2005, 21:40 GMT
England cricketers win team prize
Flintoff, Pietersen and Vaughan celebrate their Ashes success
England's Ashes-winning cricketers have landed the Team of the Year award at the 2005 BBC Sports Personality show.

Injured captain Michael Vaughan was at London's Television Centre to receive the prize, with team-mates Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones.

The cricketers faced stiff opposition from Liverpool, winners of European football's Champions League and Six Nations rugby union champions Wales.

Vaughan spoke via satellite link to the rest of the team, on tour in Pakistan.

"I think it's important to congratulate the whole team after such a fantastic summer. A huge thank you to everyone who voted for the team," he said.

He also singled out the support the team received en route to reclaiming the Ashes from Australia.

"I think we got a feel for it (the public response) early on in the summer in the one-day series," he added.

"We played them in a 20-20 game and the response was euphoric and we carried that into the Test series."

To be the best in the world you have to beat Australia over there
England coach Duncan Fletcher
Andrew Flintoff was England's leading wicket-taker and played a key role with the bat as the hosts beat Australia 2-1 to clinch the Ashes for the first time since 1987.

The Aussies have been ranked as the best team in the world since official rankings were launched in 2001, and had not lost a Test series over the next four years.

The Ashes summer was considered one of the best ever, with England coming back from an opening defeat at Lord's, via nail-biting finishes at Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Trent Bridge.

A draw in the final Test at The Oval in September sealed the series victory and sparked national celebration, with a packed Trafalgar Square greeting their open-top bus parade.

Since then, though, England have come down to earth with a bump, suffering a Test series defeat in Pakistan.

And they face another big challenge with a trip to India, where they play three Tests, in March.

Coach Duncan Fletcher was full of praise for his players, saying: "I've been really pleased with the performances over the last couple of years - they have played some very good cricket.

"I think it is very important - to beat them at home is a great achievement but to be the best in the world you have to beat them over there."

Team of the Year: England cricket team


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