The Ashes and the Red Rose
The Ashes and the Red Rose
The start of the 2017/18 Ashes is drawing ever closer. While James Anderson may be the only Lancashire representative in this series, the Ashes owes some of its biggest moments and most special performances to Lancashire County Cricket Club players in recent times.
Anderson himself is responsible for many of such. As he approaches his seventh Ashes, he remains the danger man in the England attack. He will hope to continue his good form in the series, which commences in Brisbane on Thursday 23 November.
One of Anderson’s self-stated favourite Ashes moments came in the first test of the Ashes series in 2013. The match was nearing a tense finale with Australia – nine wickets down - needing only 15 runs to secure victory on the final day at Trent Bridge.
Up stepped Anderson to take his tenth wicket of the match, dismissing Brad Haddin after hotspot revealed the smallest of edges through to the gloves of Matt Prior. A dramatic end to a man-of-the-match performance.
Anderson played a key role in regaining the urn in 2015. Following a crushing 405-run defeat in the second test at Lords, he recorded figures of 6-47 as England dismissed Australia for just 136 on the first day at Edgbaston. That match turned out to be his last of the series, with injury forcing him off during the second innings.
If anyone knows anything about being the star man of an Ashes series then it is Freddie. The Preston man was influential in 2005, when England came up against a star-studded Aussie side featuring the likes of Glenn McGrath, Ricky Ponting, a young Michael Clarke and Shane Warne at his peerless best. It is further testament to Flintoff’s – and England’s – achievements that Warne took 40 wickets at a rate of less than 20 runs in the series and still ended up on the losing side.
The most memorable encounter of the series was the second test at Edgbaston. A knock of 73 from Flintoff added some respect to the home side’s second innings, with England then skittled out for 182. He then took four wickets for 79 runs as the Three Lions held on to win the match by two runs.
Flintoff also had a big role to play in the 2009 Ashes. He was instrumental in the second test at Lord’s, his final test match at the ground. He took five wickets in the second innings, and famously fell to his knees to celebrate. England went on to win the match by 115 runs.
He was also responsible for a spectacular run-out of Ricky Ponting in the fifth and final match. With Australia progressing their run tally nicely, a risky attempt at a single by Michael Hussey was punished by Flintoff, who slung the ball from wide mid-on to clatter into the stumps with Ponting agonisingly short of his crease. A game and series-changing moment.
2009 also saw a solitary Ashes series appearance for Graham Onions. Having missed out on selection for the first test, Onions was brought in for that second test at Lord’s. He made a decent start to the game, taking three wickets for 41 runs in the first innings. He was unable to replicate this in the second, however, with Flintoff and Graeme Swann taking the majority of the wickets.
The former Durham man showed similar form at Edgbaston, again having a strong first innings, this time notching figures of 4-58. He then took one wicket in a second innings where Australia closed on 375-5 to draw the match.
Despite a promising start to Ashes life in 1989, notching 47 runs in the second innings on his debut, Michael Atherton never had quite as much success against the Aussies. A century in the third test in ’91 was the silver lining in a tour where he averaged only 31 runs, with England losing 3-0.
1993 saw Atherton replace Graham Gooch as captain midway through the series after England failed to win any of the first four matches. Although he lost his first game in charge, Atherton led his team to a surprise and morale-boosting victory in the sixth test.
His Ashes fortunes never took much of a turn for the better, though. He lost the next four consecutive Ashes before retiring at the end of the 2001 campaign. He’d had the unfortunate task of leading England in a number of series against an Aussie side featuring the likes of McGrath and Warne, with the pair responsible for dismissing Atherton 29 times between them throughout his career.
Regarded as one of England’s best fast bowlers of the 20th Century, Brian Statham helped England to an Ashes victory down under in the tour of 1954-55. Without setting the world alight himself, his partnership with Frank ‘Typhoon’ Tyson put relentless pressure on the home side as they defeated the Aussies 3-1.
Perhaps his greatest Ashes performance actually came in the following tour of Australia in ’58/‘59, when England suffered a 4-0 series whitewash. With England offering little resistance with the bat, Statham’s bowling was as ruthless as ever. The highlight was a 7-57 at the MCG, which is touted as some of the best bowling ever witnessed at the stadium.
Going on to become Lancashire captain, Statham is often remembered for being able to cause havoc with the ball on the most uncooperative of pitches.
Get priority ticket access to The Ashes in 2019
The Ashes Test Match is the pinnacle of the International cricket calendar and Emirates Old Trafford is thrilled to be hosting this historic occasion once again in 2019.
As one of the biggest events in sport, tickets for the Ashes in 2019 are expected to sell out in record time – but you can get the first access to buy tickets by joining our Ashes Priority Club.
To join the Ashes Priority Club and get first access to tickets, simply become an official Lancashire County Cricket Club Member with our special two-year Membership.
Find out more about our two-year Memberships here.