Monday, August 24, 2009


In between watching the England-Australia test on cable television [it is an outrage it is not on free terrestrial TV] I have read a brilliant book about a victorious Ashes tour to Australia.
How We Recovered The Ashes by P.F.Warner, an account of the 1903-1904 Tour of Australia.

I noted that some things remain the same even after 105 years while others are very different.

Pelham Warner England's captain March 3, 1904:

"Hirst bowled down Cotter's wicket, and after many long years of waiting and disappointment, the prestige of English cricket was restored. I suppose every man has a great moment in his life, and this was certainly mine...... I shall look back on the evening of March 3, 1904, as the golden evening of my cricket career, an evening of memories never to be repeated, but never to be swept away. "

Pelham Warner was wrong in that he captained [although did not play due to illness] an even greater England team to Australia regaining the Ashes once again in 1911-12.

From Pelham Warner's speech in 1904 at the end of the tour:

"Before the first test match I said I wanted the game played in this spirit, and which ever side was beaten, they would admit themselves beaten and not put it down to bad luck, or to umpiring, or to the hundred and one reasons so often brought forward by beaten sides."

"But Noble is not only a great cricketer, but a great captain, and a great sportsman...."

So is the present Australian captain Ricky Ponting, but his brittle team were beaten by an England team who played far better at key moments in the series.

That means there is not much difference in how test series are decided in those 105 years, but there are definitely more moustaches in 1904 than in the present England team, and the attire at team outings with wives and fiancees was slightly more formal.


Blogger Martin Edwards said...

I share your delight at the result. I admit I didn't expect it...

2:40 PM  

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