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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK
Your Ashes memories
England and Australia have contested 301 Test matches since 1876, creating a host of magic memories.
What are your favourite Ashes moments from down the years?
This debate is now closed.
Be it Headingley 1981, the 1948 "Invincibles", the golden era of the early 20th century or the less savoury Bodyline tour, there have been many sensational matches and moments.
And in that time, 740 players have run out to represent their countries in Ashes matches.
From Grace to Botham, Bradman to Warne, the list of greats is endless.
But what are your favourite memories?
Surely Botham et al's efforts in '81 must be right up there. Pure brilliance from the mentioned in the face of adversity. Also, '86-'87 was a sweet series for any England fan. When Gatting's squad got to Australia, they were branded as the team that "can't bat, can't bowl and can't field".
By the last Test, with their team losing the Ashes once more, the Australian press had diverted attention completely away from the cricket - a great moment for many an England fan.
Of course, the Australians could probably say the same for '89 ("the worst Australian side ever to set foot on English soil...") and many a series since!
But if there is one moment that sticks out in my mind it is the sight of Steve Waugh, on barely one leg, scoring a marvellous century in the last series.
As much as I'd like to see England winning back the Ashes this time round, I'd love it even more to have done so with Steve Waugh in the Australian side - probably the most determined and resilient cricketer ever to have played the game.
Although I am but young, there are a few moments that will always be with me. Headley's match-winning performance in Australia is my first memory of cricket.
When Mark Butcher played that unbelievable innings last summer I was so overcome I cried in front of everyone at work. Something that special only comes along very occasionally.
When mentioning exceptional moments it's hard to bypass Adam Gilchrist's supurb innings of 153 in the first Test in the last Ashes series.
He was on 99 when the last man, good old Glenn McGrath, came in, so he brought up his 150 in stylish fashion. Funny thing was, it was Gilly's and Glenn's 50 partnership and McGrath hadn't got off the mark!
Best day I've seen: first day Sydney 1999. Even though the match was another whitewash it was great entertainment. England on top to start, the Waughs to the rescue, 300+ runs for the day and the Gough hat-trick to polish it all off. 10 out of 10.
I have followed the Ashes since 1985, and still think the most impressive performance ever was Steve Waugh in the most recent Test. Matthew Engel said it best: "About 99% of cricketers would not have dreamt of turning out in his condition; he winced his way to 157 not out." And in a Test Australia could afford to lose. THAT is commitment.
James Wilson, NZ
Like Roy Pinney, one of my best memories is that last day at Adelaide in 1995 when England won so unexpectedly. The day was made even better in that sitting opposite me in the stand drinking in the excitement was my hero, Denis Compton. What a day.
Another great memory was at Perth four years later. England were thrashed but none of us will forget that evening when Graeme Hick came in with Australia on the rampage and hit Gillespie for 4, 6, 6 in one over.
It may have been tooo little too late but at least it cheered the English part of the crowd up, particularly the Barmy Army! What a pity he could not do that more often.
I was reading recently about the 1928-29 England team, one member of which called Bradman a rabbit as he walked out in his first Test match.
With all the talk of sledging these days, The Don was a perfect example of how to deal with it.
I can't help but imagine he had a smile from ear to ear throughout his triumphant 1930 tour, particularly during his 300 in a day at Leeds.
The 1985 series will stick in my mind for a long time. David Gower had been mocked at the start of the summer for his form - and yet he played some sensational cricket and, along with fine bowling from Botham, Ellison, Emburey and Edmonds, we demolished a woeful Australia.
It was said at the time that we should only play a three-match series against Australia, as we were too good for them. How things change!
I am 23 years old and I cannot remember an England Ashes victory, and to be honest I can't see it happening for a while either. But the Aussies better watch out for Tresco and Vaughan, our potential world beaters
Brisbane 1986...Dilley's wicket-taking on the Sunday and resultant victory - all that summer was brilliant for Englishmen living in Aussie. Hopefully this year will be same with Jonesy firing them in....look out for Austin's groovy army in Aus this year to spur the boys on!
Tim (UK) is spot on. The Centenary Test in 1977 at the MCG had it all. The greatest game of cricket that I personally can recall.
The courage of Rick McCosker batting with a wired jaw, the menace of Dennis Lillee at his peak, the sweetnes of David Hookes batting and quite simply the best Test innings I have ever seen - Derek Randall's 174.
Another favourite memory is the century in a session by Doug Walters at Perth in 1974. Hitting a six off a Bob Willis bouncer from the last ball of the day to make one of the great modern Test centuries was the stuff of legends.
The other great memories that stand out are of Bob Willis at Headingley in 1974. Botham's 149 gets all the attention, but Bob Willis thundering in and destroying the Australian second innings to lead England to an unlikely victory was simply devastating. As an Aussie it hurt, but as a cricket lover it was amazing to behold.
Some may think it odd, but a lot of my favourite Ashes memories feature Englishmen who have shown real purpose in their efforts. Ian Botham stands alone as magnificent. On the field and off.
John Snow, Bob Willis, Chris Broad, David Steele, Geoff Arnold, Darren Gough, Gus Fraser, David Gower, Robin Smith, Allan Lamb, Phil Emburey, Derek Randall, Tony Greig, Allan Knott can rest assured that they have visited us and left us mighty pleased as entertainers who were never going to believe that they were in any way inferior to their Australian counterparts.
I am certain most Aussies are looking forward to some young English Lions taking the same attitude, and they could do a whole lot worse than tapping the knowledge and experience of said venerable cricketers.
One of my earliest memories is of Botham's miracle at Headingley, but my most enduring has been the way Steve Waugh batted in 1989. Simply superb and was the genesis of the icon that we know today. Let's hope we see him for one last Ashes hurrah this winter.
In my lifetime it has to be Botham's 149 in 1981 at Headingley. It is memorable for so many reasons. I got home from school when Dilley and Botham were in their 40's. By close of play Botham had hammered the Aussies, including the famous Benaud line "That's gone straight into the confectionery stall and out again".
It was the most remarkable assault I have ever seen, born out of desperation and suddenly that summer came alive.
My very first day of watching live Test cricket was England v Australia at Lord's in 1975. However, my favourite Ashes memories are from visits to Australia - the win at Adelaide in 1995 (DeFreitas clubbing Craig McDermott for 22 in one over, Devon Malcolm destroying the Australian top order in the second innings) and also Melbourne 1998 (Ramprakash's wonder catch off Langer, Dean Headley's six wickets). Not to mention the Gough hat-trick at Sydney in 1999.
I went to see the fourth day of the first Test at Edgbaston in the 1997 series. The day had everything: good batting from the Aussies, great bowling to get them out, a thunderstorm, then a quick 100 or so from England, with a final four from Alec Stewart, to win the Test. Totally unforgettable!!!!!
I am not that old, however in reminiscent, the two greatest Ashes moments that immediately springs to mind are:
1) The Mike Gatting ball that's simply known as "That Ball", mesmerised by a ferocious leg break that crashed to top his off stump from two-feet outside leg, a befuddled Gatting departed swearing he was seeing stars. It was Shane Warne's first Test delivery in England.
2) Darren Gough bowling a hat-trick under the shadow of the Great Southern Stand in extra overtime to snatch a victory for England, one had no right to. If Gatting was seeing stars, the Australian tail was seeing black dots as one by one they were completely bamboozled by one deadly Yorker after another.
Though not really an Ashes Test and in spite of the result, the Centenary Test in Melbourne in 1977 is unbeatable for pure drama of confrontation and performance.
The tension caused by the low scores of the first innings. The sheer brilliance of Dennis Lillee at the height of his powers (taking 11 wickets) and his confrontation with Derek Randall (174 including somersault)in the second innings.
David Hookes taking up the challenge against Tony Grieg in the second innings (nine fours in a score of 56). Add great support for Randall from Brearly, Amiss, Grieg and Knott, and the bizarre sight of Rick McCosker batting with a broken jaw in the second to help Rod Marsh to 110 not out.
17 Oct 02 | Sports Talk
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