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My most memorable Ashes moment

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    I met Jim Fleming on the train to Tuggerah yesterday, on the NSW Central Coast.

    The 34-year-old is a cricket tragic, bubbling at the Australians regaining the Ashes in straight sets.

    But he was even more interested in what I thought about the Ashes stars after World War II, like Don Bradman, Arthur Morris, Neil Harvey, Sid Barnes, Ray Lindwall, Keith Miller, Bill Johnston, Sam Loxton, Colin McCool and Don Tallon.

    For England the likes Len Hutton, Cyril Washbrook, Norman Yardley, Alec Bedser, Godfrey Evans, Jim Laker, Tony Lock, Brian Statham, Freddie Trueman, Tom Graveney, Peter May, Colin Cowdrey, and Frank Tyson to name a few.

    It was great recalling those early days for me, and the wonderful characters who made every series, the beauty of the chase for the coveted urn since 1877.

    Then from left field Jim Fleming asked, “What is your most memorable Ashes moment?”.

    “Bloody hell Jim, that’s the hardest question I’ve ever been asked, especially cold”.

    So we covered a goodly few possibilities, and then I hit on two moments that have had a profound impact on Ashes folklore – and I couldn’t split them.

    Two leggies, born 57 years apart – Eric Hollies, and Shane Warne.

    Hollies bowling Bradman second ball in his last Test innings at The Oval in 1948 for the most famous duck in Test cricket history with The Don requiring just four runs to have a career average of 100.

    With no television in Australia until 1956, I had to go to the black and white newsreel at the top of Wynyard ramp to see what everyone couldn’t believe could possibly happen.

    The newsreel was 90 minutes long, and you left when it reached your entry point. But I stayed on for three revolutions, roughly 270 minutes, just to see if I’d missed something important.

    I was nearly nine years of age.

    Years later I asked Sir Donald was he too emotional after the rousing three cheers from the Englishmen as he reached the crease.

    Steely-eyed, the Don replied “Of course not, but it was a nice gesture”.

    I’ve asked Arthur Morris, who was batting with The Don whether he thought the great man was emotional.

    “No, I was too far away to see that, but I scored 196 in that innings, one of my very best, and half the team total, but all everyone wants to talk about is the duck.

    “So thanks for mentioning the 196, I really appreciate it”.

    The other delivery – Warne bowling Mike Gatting in 1993 with his first Ashes delivery, at his first appearance of Old Trafford, and his first delivery ever to Gatting.

    It has since been voted the ‘Ball of the Century’, and it was just that.

    It pitched outside leg stump, Gatting threw his left pad at it, and held his bat in position if the ball turned sharply.

    That it did, right across Gatting’s body to clip the off bail, it was a ‘jaffa’ – unplayable.

    The look on Mike Gatting’s face told the whole story, he was gob-smacked, there was absolutely ‘no way’ he could have been bowled, he had taken all precautions.

    Warne has subsequently called the delivery a fluke.

    The hell it was, but it was a spectacular start to a spectacular Ashes career.

    So to Eric Hollies, and Shane Warne, my salute for sharing the two most memorable Ashes moments I have ever seen.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • December 24th 2013 @ 9:08am
      Gururobbo said | December 24th 2013 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      Great article David,

      My greatest moment was when iI was 13 years of age. It was during the 1974/75 Ashes series in Australia.

      It was when I first fell in love with the miost frustrating game of all. to both play and follow…Cricket.

      I remenber clearly the 1st Test in Brisbane. Australia had against all odds drawn the last series in England however the English were still sure of their superiority considering that Dennis Amiss, their leading batsman had scored a truckful of runs over during the calendar year and they considered their bowling attack second to none. Their attitude was supported by the fact that Dennis Lillee was returning from a serious back injury and the other spearhead bowler had only played one test previously against Pakistan with figures of none for over a hundred.

      The rest is history. Lillee and Thommo blew the poms away and went down in history as one of the most fearsome bowling partnerships of all time. A partnership that was prematurely ended when Thommo seriously injured his shoulder ironically, in a Test match against Pakistan.

      The end result was that Australia won the series 4-1.

      I do have one other endearing memory of that series which is still fresh in my mind. I remember sitting transfixed wachin the Perth test when the great Doug Walters came into bat. From being 3 not out at tea, Douggie came in at the resumption of play and flayed the bowling, in particluar, he played the hook and the pull with consumptious ease and with ferocious power against both pace and spin. His 6 off the last ball of the over saw this thirteen year old boy leaping and hollering around the lounge room bellowing at the top of my lungs and pumping my fist through the air.

      That is a memory I will never forget.

    • December 24th 2013 @ 9:15am
      Bayman said | December 24th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      …ah, Tuggerah. Steve Waugh was so good they named a town after him!!!!

    • December 24th 2013 @ 9:17am
      Johnno said | December 24th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Loved Bruce Reids, spell at the G in 1990//1.
      Darren Gough/Devon Malcom’s big hitting at SCG 1994/5
      And Phil Tuffnell’s heroics in 1994/5 at the SCG almost winning England the test only to be saved by Tim May’s gritty batting.
      Phil De Frattis going after craig Mcdermott at Adelaide Oval 1994/5, smasshing Billy all over the park was exciting.
      And in a way I liked Steve Harmison’s vicous bouncer on Ponting, clocking him on the cheekbone, it signalled England were ready to rumble in 2005 and challange for the ASHES 1st time in 16 years.

    • Roar Guru

      December 24th 2013 @ 9:18am
      JGK said | December 24th 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      Of matches that I have attended live, Steve Waugh’s last ball four to bring up his ton is easily the most memorable.

      Over a decade later I am still getting goosebumps as I sit here typing about it.

    • Roar Guru

      December 24th 2013 @ 10:35am
      Chop said | December 24th 2013 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      I think Ryan Harris bowling Cook first ball will be remembered in the same breath as Warne’s delivery in years to come. It made an massive impact on the momentum of the game and series.

    • December 24th 2013 @ 10:50am
      Nemo ohh ha ha said | December 24th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

      Warney dancing with the stump

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