My first tour of England as coach of the Australian Cricket team was the 2001 series. Like all Ashes tours, win lose or draw there are always memorable events and occasions.
We had comfortably beaten England in the Natwest ODI series, and had then moved to Birmingham for the 1st Test.
This match heralded how much of the contests would play out.
McGrath, Gillespie, Lee and Warne would torment English batsmen.
And the batsmen would subject the English bowling attack to assault after assault, at the forefront being one Adam Gilchrist.
It was not a bad English outfit. In fact, it was a team that had performed very credibly against most other teams around the world, and had come to the Ashes with some expectation of winning.
Looking at how the teams matchup for Ashes 2015, it looks relatively similar in terms of outcomes.
I think Australia’s bowlers will dominate the English batsmen. While at the same time, if England cannot get the ball to swing, Australia’s batting depth should be able to amass big totals.
But there is always a whole lot more to an Ashes tour of England.
The highlight no doubt in 2001 at Lords was the opportunity to meet the Queen. Lords is such a special place in any case, but to have the Queen attend the game, and be ushered into her presence was very special.
People always ask what did say, or what did you say, but protocols have it that there is no chit-chat unless Her Royal Heiness chooses to stop and begin a conversation.
There are many other highlights on such a trip from the grounds, the castles as we started our campaign at Arundel castle, the various functions that are a requirement to attend on tour, the locations to visit on days off, and of course the TEAM BUS!
I am certain this Ashes tour will be little different to those that have gone before it. Different personnel, different schedule, but the overall fabric of an Ashes tour will still be there, and I suspect a similar result to 2001 may make the tours even more alike………………….
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