Sport news Mambo No 5, Benaud and the best cricket series of all-time… Millions were hooked to Channel 4's coverage of the 2005 Ashes as England wrestled the urn back from Australia. As Test cricket returns to network TV, where are the key men now? Prem
Premierleague-News.com - Millions of people were hooked to Channel 4's coverage as England wrestled the Ashes Urn back from Australia in 2005. Now Test cricket is returning to the channel with the series in India.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! It was Test cricket's greatest summer. A compelling Ashes series packed with twists and turns that elevated cricket into the national consciousness and made the sport fashionable again.Five thrilling matches culminated with England beating Australia to claim the Ashes urn for the first time since 1987.The beauty of that unforgettable 2005 series was that it truly felt accessible to everyone thanks to Channel 4's excellent coverage. England regained the Ashes from Australia after 18 years of hurt in the classic 2005 series England captain Michael Vaughan gives the famous Urn a kiss (left) while man of the series Andrew Flintoff celebrates with a cigar a la Botham in the dressing room (right) A distraught Justin Langer (left) and Shane Warne as Australia's grip on the Ashes is loosenedIt was the last England Test series to be screened live on terrestrial television and commanded enormous viewing figures as the country's imagination was well and truly captured.A whopping 8.4 million people were tuned in to witness the nerve-shredding finale of England's fourth Test win at Trent Bridge and 7.4million witnessed the rather underwhelming moment the umpires removed the bails and declared the fifth Test a draw at The Oval.Given that there was anything up to eight hours of live coverage each day on Channel 4, it was astonishing that, on average, three million people were watching at any given time.Perhaps it was Richie Benaud's unmistakable voice or Geoffrey Boycott's scythe-sharp observations. Perhaps it was Lou Bega's Mambo No 5 on the opening titles. The public just couldn't get enough. Thousands turned out to watch England's heroes on a bus parade through Trafalgar Square The celebrations continued for some time as England's players got a tickertape reception Star man Kevin Pietersen with the glass Ashes trophy in one hand and a Red Bull in the other Pietersen's brilliant 158 in the final Test at The Oval ensured England took series victoryLive Test cricket moved exclusively to Sky Sports thereafter and they elevated the coverage to even higher levels. But as cricket returns to Channel 4 this week, there is a glorious sense of nostalgia.And that isn't just because Mambo No 5 will continue to be the theme music. With the first ball set to be bowled in the much-anticipated India vs England series at 4am this Friday, Channel 4 certainly won't be commanding such high viewing figures.But it's great to see the red-ball game back on free-to-air TV and with the whole country locked down it should be the biggest audience since the Cricket World Cup final two years ago.To mark Test cricket's return to C4, we look back at some of the principal personalities of that 2005 Ashes summer and what they're doing now. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh with the England team after they were awarded MBEs following their Ashes triumph. Back row from left: Geraint Jones (Kent), Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), Simon Jones (Glamorgan), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Stephen Harmison (Durham), Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Ian Bell (Durham). Front row from left: Phil Neale (Manager), Marcus Trescothick (Somerset), Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire), Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, Duncan Fletcher (Coach), Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire) and Ashley Giles (Warwickshire). RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Former England captains Sir Alastair Cook and Sir Andrew... Zak Crawley ruled OUT of England's first two Tests against... NASSER HUSSAIN: Run-machine Virat Kohli is a god-like figure... Centurion Joe Root aims to be selfish with the bat to help... Share this article Share ENGLANDMany of England's heroes of 2005 were still in the team when England won the 2010-11 Ashes series Down Under. You can find out what became of the likes of Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell HERE. But as for the rest...Michael VaughanEngland's captain fantastic and the first leader of the team to get their hands on the Urn since Mike Gatting 18 years earlier.Vaughan had started the series with three single digit scores from four innings and came in for serious criticism over his form and technique that led him returning briefly to play for his county, Yorkshire.However, everything changed at Old Trafford in the third Test. Having been clean bowled by Glenn McGrath off a no-ball, Vaughan went on to make 166 and then a half-century in the next match at Nottingham. Vaughan salutes the crowd at Old Trafford after completing his century in the third Test Vaughan with the Ashes Urn and a well-earned beer in the England dressing room at The Oval Vaughan (right) pictured with James Anderson (left) and Isa Guha (middle) on the BBC's coverage of the England vs Pakistan T20 match last yearVaughan was lauded for his leadership and received an OBE in the New Year Honours. He continued as captain until 2008 by which time poor scores, injuries and the pressures of captaincy had taken a toll.He went on to become a respected commentator and pundit on the BBC's Test Match Special and co-presents The Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show on Five Live with Phil Tufnell.Andrew FlintoffAfter Ian Botham and before Ben Stokes, England had Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff. A man who made something happen with either bat or ball. A talismanic figure capable of the spectacular and the superhuman.Few cricketers will ever have a better match than Flintoff in the second Test at Edgbaston. Smashing nine sixes as he made 141 over the two innings with the bat and taking seven wickets with the ball, including both Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting in his first over bowled during Australia's run chase.He went on to score a century at Trent Bridge and took five wickets at The Oval to haul England to victory. His bleary-eyed celebrations during the open-top bus parade also became the stuff of legend. Flintoff was magnificent with both bat and ball during the iconic series of his England career A moment of great sportsmanship as Flintoff consoles Brett Lee after the drama at Edgbaston Flintoff and Ashley Giles during the famously bleary-eyed celebrations on the open-top bus Flintoff (left) with co-presenters Paddy McGuinness (centre) and Chris Harris on Top GearFlintoff was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2005, the first cricketer since Botham in 1981 to win it.He succeeded Vaughan as captain but to less success and the injury-plagued all-rounder never recaptured that 2005 high.Flintoff has certainly been busy post-cricket. He had a very brief boxing career, toured around in a fish and chip van for a TV series, captained a team on Sky's A League of Their Own, won the Aussie version of I'm a Celebrity and now presents Top Gear.Ashley GilesEngland's 'King of Sp(a)in' was a steady performer in 2005, taking 10 wickets but at a high average of 57.80. He did knock off the crucial winning runs at Trent Bridge as Shane Warne threatened to tie England in knots.Having been in and around the side since 1998, Giles flew home from the 2006-07 away Ashes series to care for his wife, who had a brain tumour. Ashley Giles celebrates after steering England to their crucial victory at Trent Bridge Giles celebrates with Kevin Pietersen after taking a catch during the last Test at The Oval Ashley Giles (right), England's director of cricket, pictured during the white ball tour of South Africa in DecemberGiles retired from cricket in 2007 and became Warwickshire's director of cricket and also England's spin coach. He also served on the national selection panel and was later England's limited-overs head coach.In 2018, Giles was appointed managing director of England men's cricket, replacing Andrew Strauss.Simon JonesUndoubtedly one of the stars of the series, the paceman was especially brilliant at Old Trafford when he demolished Australia's top order to return figures of six for 53.He had their number again at Trent Bridge, taking four for 44 in swing-friendly conditions before an ankle injury ruled him out of the final Test. Simon Jones bowls Michael Kasprowicz during the fourth Test win at Trent Bridge The sight of Jones celebrating wickets became a familiar one during his marvellous summerJones should have been an England regular for years to come but his career was wrecked by ankle and knee injuries, with those heroics at Nottingham sadly his final England appearance.After retiring in 2013, Jones became a sports coach at a school in Cardiff and performs motivational speaking engagements.Geraint JonesEngland's wicketkeeper took the most famous catch of the series to dismiss Michael Kasprowicz and seal the dramatic two-run victory at Edgbaston in the second Test.Jones continued in the England team for another year or so but lost his place when a series of dropped catches and missed stumpings combined with a lack of form with the bat. Time stands still as Geraint Jones dives to take the catch to dismiss Michael Kasprowicz off the bowling of Steve Harmison and win the Edgbaston Test Jones is mobbed by Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen after Billy Bowden's finger is raised Jones is now a firefighter for Kent Fire and Rescue services after training last year He later represented Papua New Guinea, the country of his birth, in one-day cricket, playing in World Cup qualifiers.After retirement, Jones joined Brentwood School in Essex as their cricket professional, worked as a business studies teacher and trained to be a fireman with the Kent Fire and Rescue services.
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.10 to be the second highest run scorer over the five Tests behind Pietersen. He was named as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year as a result.Trescothick played for England through until the following year's home series with Pakistan but flew home before the 2006-07 Ashes series because of a 'stress-related illness.' England opener Marcus Trescothick bats at Edgbaston during England's second Test win With an average of 43, Trescothick was the second-highest run scorer during the series Trescothick has been working with the England team as a batting coach in recent monthsHe chronicled his struggles with anxiety and depression in an award-winning book, Coming Back to Me, in 2008. Trescothick didn't return to international cricket but played county cricket for Somerset through until 2019, at the age of 43.Trescothick worked with the England team as a batting coach during their white-ball tour to South Africa last year.Matthew HoggardHoggard took 16 wickets during the series with his best return of four for 97 coming in the final Test at The Oval to ensure Australia's first innings score was six less than England's.His over-my-dead-body batting for eight not out had also helped England over the line at Trent Bridge in the fourth Test. Matthew Hoggard took 16 wickets during that Ashes series with his best figures at The Oval Hoggard celebrates taking the wicket of Damien Martyn during the pivotal Nottingham Test The ex-England seamer has now opened a barbecue school in Rutland called 'Hoggy's Grill' Hoggard shows off his BBQ skills, after he launched his new business during the first lockdownA Test career of 248 wickets came to an end in 2008 though his domestic career continued another five years at Yorkshire and then Leicestershire.His eccentric character made him a popular after-dinner speaker in retirement and last year, Hoggard set up a barbecue school in Rutland called 'Hoggy's Grill.' How Channel 4 revolutionised cricket coverage Channel 4 had been screening live coverage of England's home Tests for six years by the time of the 2005 Ashes and had created a hugely successful formula.Their coverage was infinitely more bold and colourful than the BBC Test match coverage that had preceded it, with the network unafraid to embrace new innovation.The uplifting sound of Lou Bega's version of Mambo No 5, a huge hit in 1999, marked the start of the day's coverage, normally cutting to the suave Mark Nicholas somewhere on the outfield to tee things up. The Channel 4 commentary team (left to right) Mark Nicholas, Geoff Boycott, Michael Slater, Tony Greig and Michael Atherton look on at The OvalThere was great chemistry in the commentary box with the authoritative voice of Richie Benaud and the opinions of Michael Atherton, just starting his broadcasting career, and Geoffrey Boycott, well-established in his.Of course it was Benaud's voice that soundtracked the thrilling denouement at Edgbaston: 'Jones!… Bowden!… Kasprowicz the man to go… despair for Australia, joy for every Englishman on the field.' The 2005 team also featured former England captain Tony Greig and Australian batting great Michael Slater. Iconic commentator Richie Benaud in his Trent Bridge vantage point in 2005And let's not forget 'the analyst', Simon Hughes, who would appear in the C4 TV truck surrounded by screens and stacks of videotape.But it wasn't necessarily his job to just offer in-depth detail of the key moments of play but also to explain some of the rules and quirks of the game of cricket in general. Channel 4 were conscious they were taking the game to a much broader audience, especially in 2005.They also pioneered some innovations taken for granted on TV cricket coverage now. It was Benaud that christened the stump microphone that picked up whether ball had hit bat as 'Snicko'. C4 commentator Geoffrey Boycott seen at The Oval ahead of the fifth and final Test Simon Hughes in his video truck as 'The Analyst' during Channel Four's coverageIn 2001, C4 showed us Hawk-Eye technology for the first time during England's series with Pakistan. Developed by a former minor counties cricketer, Paul Hawkins, it revealed the trajectory and bounce of each delivery, clearing up those contentious LBW calls and would eventually be integrated into not only cricket but various sports.This all came together in 2005 with the nation hooked on every second of coverage. The viewing figures went through the roof.But it was bittersweet. The Oval Test saw the plug pulled on terrestrial Test coverage as it moved wholesale to Sky Sports. Mark Nicholas (left) oversees the toss ahead of the fourth Test at Trent BridgeAtherton is now an established member of Sky's commentary team, while Boycott continued as a Test Match Special regular until his retirement in 2020.Nicholas remains a familiar face on TV cricket coverage all over the world, working for Channel Nine in Australia, Cricket on Five, talkSPORT and the world feed for IPL games.Hughes is a well respected cricket journalist, author and broadcaster often heard on TMS and seen on BT Sport coverage.
AUSTRALIAAustralia's players became household names to the English public during that summer of 2005 and for many England fans, the ultimate pantomime villains. Here's four of the most well-known.Ricky PontingPonting had replaced Steve Waugh as Australia's captain the year before the Ashes series, having long been seen as the natural successor.He faced significant criticism as a result of becoming the first Aussie captain since Allan Border in 1986-87 to surrender to Urn.Having made 156 to save the game for his team at Old Trafford, Ponting was famously run out when on 48 by substitute fielder Gary Pratt at Trent Bridge, unleashing a tirade at the England staff as he walked back to the pavilion. Australia captain Ricky Ponting is run out by substitute fielder Gary Pratt at Trent Bridge Ponting was the first Australian captain since Allan Border in 1987 to not win an Ashes series Ponting pictured before last month's Big Bash match between the Stars and RenegadesFar from give up the captaincy, Ponting ensured Australia became a winning machine in the years that followed. Overall, he won 220 of his 324 Test and one-day matches as captain, a winning ratio over two-thirds.One of the finest batsmen of all-time, Ponting's tally of 13,378 Test runs is second only to India legend Sachin Tendulkar.Ponting's batting expertise has been called upon by the Australian team, including during the 2019 Cricket World Cup, and he's also worked with Australia's Indian Premier League stars and the Delhi Capitals.Justin LangerEngland's first objective was always to break Australia's formidable opening partnership of Langer and Matthew Hayden - undoubtedly one of the best ever.That didn't often prove easy with Langer, who top-scored in the series for the tourists with 391, and in three of their innings. Justin Langer plays a sweep shot during the Edgbaston Test - he scored 391 runs in the series The former opener, now coach of the Australian team, seen during the recent India seriesHe scored 105 in an opening stand of 185 with Hayden in the final Test but the middle order failed and any chance of Australia levelling the series and retaining the Ashes faded.Langer retired from Test cricket after the 2006-07 Ashes series and is now coach of the Australian team. He has done much to rebuild the reputation of the team following the March 2018 sandpaper ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.Shane WarneNobody gave England fans the palpitations during that series quite like spin master Warne, who surpassed the milestone of 600 Test wickets at Old Trafford and took 40 over the five matches.Indeed, Warne shared the player of the series honour with Flintoff and with good reason.The six for 46 he took in England's second innings at Edgbaston, his best return of the series, is overshadowed by the fact he stood on his own stumps having put on 45 with Brett Lee for the ninth wicket as Australia came agonisingly close to chasing down 282 for a 2-0 lead. Shane Warne was sensational during the 2005 Ashes, taking 40 wickets across the five Tests He did step onto the stumps at Edgbaston just as it looked as though Australia would win Warne pictured on TV commentary duty during a Big Bash League match last monthWarne also took 12 wickets in the final Test - six in each innings - but too expensively to stop England clinching the series.Retribution was gained in 2007 as he became the first player to 700 Test wickets before bowing out.He played T20 after that before becoming a commentator and pundit on Nine and Sky Sports. He hosted a chat show that was cancelled because of poor ratings, launched an underwear line and part owns a gin distillery.Glenn McGrathMcGrath was the scourge of England's batsmen in Australia's comfortable first Test victory at Lord's, taking five for 53 in their first innings as he demolished the upper order.It seemed the tone had been set for the series but, in a twist of fate, McGrath stood on a cricket ball and injured his ankle just before the Edgbaston Test, forcing him out. Glenn McGrath was sensational at Lord's as Australia battered England in the first Test His ankle injury after stepping on a ball at Edgbaston changed the direction of the whole series The McGrath Foundation has raised millions for breast cancer nurses with 'pink days' McGrath took five wickets at Old Trafford having been hurried back but missed Trent Bridge with an elbow injury. It's one of the great unknowns whether a fully-fit McGrath would have meant a different outcome.He retired from international cricket after the 2006-07 Ashes and was hit by tragedy in June 2008 when his wife Jane died from breast cancer aged 42.The McGrath Foundation, set up by the couple in 2002, has raised millions to fund breast cancer nurses across Australia and one day of the Sydney Test match each year sees the ground turn pink in support of the charity. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Former England captains Sir Alastair Cook and Sir Andrew... Zak Crawley ruled OUT of England's first two Tests against... NASSER HUSSAIN: Run-machine Virat Kohli is a god-like figure... Centurion Joe Root aims to be selfish with the bat to help...
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