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  Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
A-Z of the Ashes
David Gower and David Morris before their infamous Tiger Moth flight
A is for aeroplane - and trouble for Gower and Morris
From Aeroplane to Zzzzs, check out our alternative guide to the showdown between Australia and England.
Aeroplane - David Gower and John Morris landed in trouble Down Under in 1991 after flying two Tiger Moth biplanes over the ground where England team-mates were playing a pre-Ashes match, and 'buzzing' the wicket.

Bodyline - The aggressive bowling employed by England in the infamous 1932-33 series inflamed anglo-Australian rivalry. B is also for the brilliant Bradman and 'Beefy' Botham - heroes for their countries.

Catches - Win matches and Aussie wicketkeeper Rod Marsh has held more in Ashes contests - 141 all told - than anyone else.

Dilley - Rhyme paid for England paceman Graham Dilley when he sealed an unlikely dismissal at Perth in 1985 - Lillee, caught Willey, bowled Dilley, for 19.

Extra man - England have needed one at times and when impostor Karl Power walked onto the field dressed as a player in 2001, a BBC commentator joked: "He is not the only one to masquerade as an England batsmen."

Shane Warne has been the scourge of England
Flipping hell: Warne claims another victim

Flipper - A variation on the leg-break, this delivery has been used to devastating effect by Australian spinner Shane Warne.

Gabba - Popular name for Brisbane's famous cricket ground. 'The Gabba' comes from a suburb of Woolloongabba where the ground is situated.

Headingley - The venue for Ian Botham's all-round heroics which produced an unlikely victory and transformed the 1981 series. H is also for other England greats Hammond, Hobbs and Hutton.

Innings - England racked up the highest Ashes total with 903-7 declared at The Oval in 1938. Australia's 36 all out at Edgbaston in 1902 is the lowest.

Jaffa - You can always expect a few of these in an Ashes series, and not just as a nibble during the drinks breaks. The term Jaffa, which refers to an unplayable delivery, is thought to originate from the ball being juicy.

Knees-up - When England's Barmy Army of travelling fans are on tour, a party is sure to ensue. And a trip to Australia is all the more special, with the third Test sandwiched between Christmas and New Year.

Laker, Larwood, Lillee - There's one 'ell of a bowling line-up. England's Jim Laker was a spin wizard in the 1950s, Harold Larwood led the Bodyline attack, while Dennis Lillee was an Aussie pace great.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground
MCG has hosted Test cricket for over a century
Melbourne - In 1877, the Melbourne Cricket Ground staged the first ever Test match, when Australia beat England. Capacity is reduced at the MCG for this series by 20,000 to 75,000 as part of redevelopment for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Nought - No-one wants a duck in the Ashes, and the brilliant Don Bradman claimed perhaps the most famous one when out for nought in his last match, when just four would have secured a Test average of a hundred.

Oz - The affectionate name for Australia and cue for lots of lame newspaper headlines where half a century is enough to make you the 'Wizard of Oz.'

Pommie - Australian slang for the English. Some suggest name refers to prisoners sent to Australia, and is an acronymn for Prisoners Of His Majesty, or Prisoners of Mother England. Others believe it is a shortened form of pomegranate, allegedly rhyming slang for immigrant.

Quickest - The quickest Ashes hundred was hit by Gilbert Jessop, who took just 75 minutes to make his ton against Australia at The Oval in 1902. Somewhat slower was Geoff Miller who laboured for just over two hours to make seven on the 1978-79 tour of Australia.

Records - Are meant to be broken, but it will take some doing to beat top Ashes run scorer Don Bradman (5,028 at an average of 89.78) and leading wicket taker Dennis Lillee (167 at 21).

Six - The number of Tests England have won, prior to 2002, against Australia since their last Ashes series victory in 1986-7. They have lost 24 and drawn seven.

Tinnies - Surely no self-respecting Aussie cricket lover could be parted from a drop of the amber nectar - and there might be the odd beer drunk by England's vocal fans.

The Ashes Urn stands just four inches high
Nice little urn: The trophy

Urn - Tiny trophy measures just four inches high, but stands as a great sporting symbol. Containing the remains of a burnt bail, after an English defeat Down Under, it is still housed at Lord's despite Aussie protestations.

Victory - The most important word of all, perhaps, and one England have not been too familiar with. Nasser Hussain's men are seeking the country's first Ashes series victory for 15 years.

Waugh - Twin brothers Steve and Mark have been a thorn in England's side - they even both made hundreds in the same innings in the fifth Test of the 2001 series.

You're out - The words no batsman wants to hear, and which English bowler Jim Laker heralded on 19 different occasions in one Test as he ripped through the tourists at Old Trafford in 1956.

Zzzzzzs - There shouldn't be too many spectators asleep once the action starts - unless, of course, Australia by some chance build up an early lead and make the rest of the series a formality.

All the news ahead of the 2002/03 Ashes tour

Tour in review

Test series

Clickable guides

Background

Play the game
Links to more The Ashes stories are at the foot of the page.


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