'Hughes takes us on a breathless tour through cricket history, the great players, personalities, matches and events. He never slackens pace or dwells on the dry details of the scoreboard.' - The Times From the William Hill Award-Winning author of A Lot of Hard Yakka comes Cricket's Greatest Rivalry: A History of the Ashes in 10 Matches, a fast-paced, distinctive history of the iconic, 135-year-old cricketing rivalry between England and Australia. The new paperback edition is completely revised and updated to include the tumultuous two series of 2013-2014, which saw more more twists and turns in this enthralling contest. No other sport has a fixture like the Ashes. From the early 1880s the rivalry between these two great sporting nations has captured the public imagination and made sporting legends of its stars. Commentator, analyst and award-winning cricket historian Simon Hughes tells the story of the ten seminal series that have become the stuff of sporting folklore.
Cricket's Greatest Rivalry places you right at the heart of the action of each pivotal match, explaining the social context of the time, the atmosphere of the crowd and the background and temperaments of the players that battled in both baggy green and blue caps. Simon starts his story at the very birth of the Ashes and tells the tale of the band of Australians that took on the best gentleman and players in the Empire's HQ and beat them on their home turf. That momentous occasion set the tone for some epic contests including: The thrilling 1902 Test at Old Trafford, which was one by a mere three runs. The incredible innings of Hobbs and Sutcliffe in front of a tense and packed Oval in 1926. The legendary 'bodyline' series of Jardine, Larwood, Bradman et al in 1933. The incredible run chase in 1948 that also saw Bradman's last test. England's reprise in the fifth test of 1953 when Lock, Trueman, Bailey and Hutton steered the hosts to a whirlwind victory. The fearsome pace attack from the likes of Lillie and Thompson that transformed the contest in the first Test of 1974 and shaped the Ashes as a tournament for decades to come.
Botham's Ashes in 1981 that restored pride in a sports-mad nation. The match up at old Trafford where the magic of one Shane Warne sent shockwaves through the game. And finally the breaking of the Aussie stranglehold in 2005, when Flintoff, Pietersen and Vaughan did the seemingly impossible and re-established the greatest of rivalries. The book also includes complete statistics and records of all the Ashes fixtures and results and much, much more!