We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:22 pm

1. Australia v England at the Sydney Cricket Ground. January 2014.

Australia won by 281 runs.

What was begun with mystery in Dubai, ended in fire in Sydney. Two of Test cricket's worst batting series ever; England were paralysed by spin then slain by pace. The sublime batting of England in the early Flower period was now only myth. From UAE onwards the batters were fallible. The bowlers tried, but years of toil in a four man attack had left Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Stuart Broad tired and often enraged. Repeatedly they would get the team back on its feet only for the batters to stumble. Everyone knew the dressing room was divided along those lines.

England had retained the Ashes in 2013 in a series of lethargy and little excitement. The last thing they needed that winter was to return to Australia to defend the prize fought for with such determination. Since England had last been down under, the Australian strategists had experienced a eureka moment. A pale, unhealthy looking male that no one remembered, appeared out of an office no one knew about, waving a sheet of paper and dancing crazily on the spot like he had discovered gold: we always beat them in Perth! The coaches looked each to each, and wordlessly hugged each other. The Ashes were going back to Australia.

England were bounced out from Brisbane to Boxing Day. Former figure of fun Mitch Johnson became their destroyer; an inexorable, pitiless, mustachioed superhero. The England batters couldn't resist and the bowlers could no longer breath life back into the corpse. England succumbed more abjectly then they ever did to the merciless Steve Waugh. The Ashes were gone in 13 days.

England arrived at the SCG like a defeated cavalry returning to the fort. Some long serving stalwarts had been lost along the way, like Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar and Jonathan Trott. There were new fresh faces who had been introduced into the disarray, like Boyd Rankin, Gary Ballance and Scott Borthwick. There were passengers whose reason for being there was barely comprehended like Chris Tremlett and James Tredwell. And no one at debriefing was able to account for what had befallen Steve Finn. The selection had become amorphous, perhaps leaderless, enveloped in a kind of group insanity. The XI who took the field at Sydney makes no logical sense at all. And the Aussies, though the England team had given up long ago, relentlessly taunted what little was left of their dignity.

Credit to Ben Stokes for his first Test five wicket haul, an emerging player with something to fight for. And respect to Stuart Broad, who resisted longer than the other regulars. The Mitchwash was completed in only three days. One of the pricklier winners, Brad Haddin, again propped up their batting, this time with Steve Smith. Johnson took six wickets, and his brilliant pace bowling partner Ryan Harris finished off the series with match figures of 8-63. Most could take empathetic satisfaction from his recovery from a horrific ankle injury.

After the complete destruction of their side in Australia, England elected not to change their captain or dismiss their coach, but sack their leading batter in the face of such great odds, Kevin Pietersen, with motives which are still not known. Michael Carberry, who fronted up better than most, was not seen again. England put Paul Downton in charge of post series reparations, Ted Dexter having retired to the Cote d'Azur... The consequences of these decisions are still being felt and the mistakes made led directly to the melancholy World Cup attempt of 2014-15. England shed the goodwill and loyalty of a large number of their supporters because of the partiality of their actions; no other England defeat comes close for the damage borne and the disillusionment stomached.


http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/592401.html
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Durhamfootman » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:28 pm

England cricket returns home from Oz

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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Durhamfootman » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:31 pm

England World cup cricket and England world cup football arrive home at the same time

Last edited by Durhamfootman on Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Durhamfootman » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:32 pm

Imagine if England world cup rugby had arrived home at the same time?

fortunately that never left
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:43 pm

With the football team they blame the manager, not the top scorer.
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Durhamfootman » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:47 pm

they might have....... if anyone had scored
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:19 pm

I think there wasn't an entry for the Ashes between 1989 and 2006-7, even though England always lost, usually badly.

Partly because there is a bit of beige about all that unbroken defeat (although I might have dug out the time when I fell asleep and woke up hours later to find the same batters at the crease, but in the second innings). My excuses are:

England suffered incredibly with injury in all those series.

It doesn't count if you lose because of runs scored by Greg Matthews batting at eight.

Having Warne and McGrath in the same team is unfair.

But, a big gap there.
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Durhamfootman » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:36 pm

Arthur Crabtree wrote:Partly because there is a bit of beige about all that unbroken defeat (although I might have dug out the time when I fell asleep and woke up hours later to find the same batters at the crease, but in the second innings).


that would be my abiding memory of that era..... Slats, Tubs, and Daniel all scoring hundreds at the top of the order. Aus batting for the first 2 days for 600+ runs, then skittling England for nowt twice in the next day and a half. Now that might not always have been the case... in fact I'm sure it wasn't, but it did feel like it was ever thus......... being able to throw a hoola hoop over Glenda's pitch map.... Shane Warne tossing the ball into the footmarks at point or square leg and turning it back to demolish the stumps. Other bowlers only required for when Warne felt the need for a cuppa and a fag, or if Glenda spotted a defenceless animal grazing outside the ground (usually Gatting) and decided to nip off to the dressing room to get his high powered rifle and a cameraman

grim times...... and not just for the defenceless animal
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:07 pm

A lot of the time it wasn't Warne and McGrath, it was Merv and Paul Reiffel.

There was a Test where Craig McDermott was injured, and Australia went in with one pace bowler in Merv Hughes, and two spinners in May and Warne. Steve Waugh took the new ball. Australia won heavily. Might have had that one.
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:21 pm

4: West Indies/India
3: Australia
2: Pakistan/South Africa/Sri Lanka/New Zealand
1: Bangladesh.

Just Zimbabwe miss out. Don't think they've beaten England.
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Durhamfootman » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:41 pm

probably because England are too scared to play them

they had a nightmare in Zim during a WC in SA, I think? Nasser rings a bell, so he might have been capt at the time, so perhaps Zim could be awarded an honorary mention?

seems a shame to leave them out... after all ireland have had their day in the sun
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:56 pm

That was when England refused to play them because they were threatened by a group called something like The Children of Free Zimbabwe. There was the flippin' murdered 'em Test, but that was a draw with scores level (I think the two match series was drawn). England famously lost a three ODI series when Eddo Brandes (the chicken farmer) was prominent.
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Re: We'll Keep the White Flag Flying.

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:25 pm

Forgot the home defeat to Sri lanka in 2014. Should have been in.
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