I saw this documentary on television once and then spent years on the Internet trying to find a copy (mostly for the Stephen Fry commentary). There are great cameos from Mike Atherton (who explains why Shane Warne was so difficult to face), as well as Simon Hughes, whom I adore. There’s also a great dissection of the Warne-Ponting relationship. If you feel any need to indulge Flintoff/Simon Jones nostalgia, or “the swing works the oracle again,” spend the hour-plus watching this:
P.S.: Now that I think about it, the 2005 Ashes aren’t as significant as they were at the time, mainly because of the 5-0 drubbing that followed, but also because England went on to win in 2009 and 2010. Winning against Australia in Australia was monumental, and the hectic, manic Tests of 2005 seem almost amateurish compared to the clinical nature of their expedition down under. Still, watching these Tests is watching something real — the closeness of the games overshadows the guile, strategy and effort; only sheer desperation and human emotion are left.
This is great. Thanks for passing it along.
Not sure I agree that 2005 was has lessened in significance over time. In hindsight the England team had reached a peak, from which they fell away before rebuilding and developing probably a stronger side, or a least stronger structures. From an English perspective I would argue that breaking the Australian stranglehold was incredibly important – most of the players in that series could barely remember an English Ashes triumph and it seemed something almost impossible. Now it seems something completely realistic. As an aside, I would wager that the 2005 series remains in the country’s collective memory in a way that the other victories have not, mainly because it was the last series on terrestrial television. Plus, of course, there were two really good sides playing incredibly tight matches.
All good points, David. I was amazed to hear Nicholas say in the documentary that 10 million people watched one of the Tests. That’s an incredible number.
Ug, apologies for the terrible grammar in that last comment.
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