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Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 16:38 UK

Ashes: Poms Down Under in 1978-9 & 1979-80


A radio documentary looking at England's tours to Australia in 1978/9 and 1979/80.

Australia were severely weakened by World Series Cricket for the 1978/9 tour, with all their star players lost to Kerry Packer's new competition. But England's 5-1 series win in 1978/9 was still a tremendous achievement - and was certainly a shock to Australia's skipper Graham Yallop, who had predicted a 6-0 series win for his side.

Less than a year later England returned to face a full-strength Australia side, and Dennis Lillee's aluminium bat. The bat lasted just four balls before England objected - but there were few other setbacks for the Australians, who won all three Tests. The cricket was compelling, but it wasn't considered an Ashes series by the English board.

Featuring interviews with Mike Brearley, Ian Chappell and Bob Willis, who left Geoff Boycott stranded on 99 not out in the First Test at Perth in December 1979. "Geoff took about 15 minutes to get off the pitch," recalls Willis.

Presented by Peter Baxter.


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