England’s players reported how they felt after their decisive Ashes 2009 victory over Australia at the Brit Oval. Here is their view of this match, and this summer’s series, as reported by the BBC Test Match Special.
The guys have done amazingly over the last eight months – I want to thank Ricky Ponting and his team who played the game in the right spirit and are great ambassadors for their country. When we were bad, we were very bad, but when we were good, we were good enough.
This is the best I’ve ever felt in my life – I don’t have kids so I can’t imagine what could compare with this. When we kept dropping catches I didn’t know what would happen, but I told Harmy this morning he had to play a part in this game. This is incredible. No-one knew this wicket was going to turn the way it did and I lost my temper a bit when the catches went down, but it’s turned out beautifully.
We had to fight very hard for it, but it’s been a special day. We bowled well as a unit throughout the series – the first couple of games are tough but I got a boost at Edgbaston with the fifty and a couple of late wickets, and I’m delighted to have helped the side win the series. If I get the chance to move up to seven, I hope to get my head down and play longer innings – I was off the field for Fred’s run-out but I heard the roar from the dressing-room and it was incredible.
I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, it seems a bit of a dream. To be walking round The Oval with the urn again seems surreal. I’m a bit older and wiser than four years ago, so I think I’ll have a couple of drinks in the dressing-room and then take my missus out for dinner. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever run someone out like that in a Test – I’d love to say it was through hours of practice but that would be a lie, I just wanted some time out of the slips! But it’s all about the team. Once I’ve gone, I think Stuart Broad can step up to the plate, but I think England are in good hands with Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower. I’m going in for another op on my knee in the next couple of days.
It’s a phenomenal achievement from a young side who have come through thick and thin in the past 14 months. But this was like the other side having 60-70% possession in a football match but you winning 1-0. People were writing me off, but I was very happy to be a part of this and beat Australia for the second time. It was fitting for Andrew that he went out the way he did. I’m biased because I’m one of his mates, but he’s had a great career for England – when you need a bit of a spark, he’s always there. Let’s not put too much pressure on Stuart Broad, he’s a young lad who’s had a great series and for a young lad he’s got some good tools in his locker. In 2005 when young players came in we put too much pressure on them – let’s let these lads develop. I don’t know yet whether I’m carrying on – I love playing for my country, but I want to talk to a few people and weigh up if I want to do another overseas tour. I won’t decide until the season’s over but if the coach and the captain want me in a 16 or 17-man squad for South Africa, I’ll go. Hopefully in 10 days’ time I can win the Championship with Durham!
I’m absolutely exhausted! They pushed us hard when Ponting and Hussey were in. There was a lot of hype in the West Indies from you guys [the media] about byes, but I knew my game was getting better and better – but getting together with Bruce French and working with him has made the difference
The England players were speaking after they had regained the Ashes 2009 cricket series against Australia winning the final test, at the Brit Oval, by 197 runs and lifting the series 2-1.