The Ashes series has produced many memorable and controversial moments, as well as bringing out world class performances by legendary cricketers.
The Bodyline Series
Arguably the most controversial series took place in Australia during 1932/33. Many Australian batsmen were injured from the 'fast leg theory' style of bowling, and the series eventually caused a serious diplomatic row. England regained The Ashes and it was later dubbed the 'Bodyline' series.
England's Ashes Victories
In 1981, with England one down after two Tests, Mike Brearley was brought out of retirement in an attempt to rescue England. However, during the third Test at Headingley England had followed-on after being 227 runs in arrears. At one stage England were 135 for 7, and being offered at 500-1 by bookmakers. Thanks largely to 149 not out by Ian Botham England battled to a lead of 129. Amazingly, Australia was bowled out for 111 with Bob Willis taking 8 for 43. It was the first time since 1894/95 that a team following-on had won a Test match. England then defeated Australia at Edgbaston, who again failed to make a relatively low score in the fourth innings. It was an amazing series, which later became known as 'Botham's Ashes'.
Modern Ashes Tours
The 2005 Ashes series was one of the best Test series ever played. Australia won the first Test at Lord's. England then won the second Test at Edgbaston by a thrilling two runs; the smallest margin in Ashes history. The third Test was drawn and England won the penultimate Test. It wasn't until the final session on the final day of the final Test that England eventually shut out Australia to secure the draw and regain the Ashes for the first time in 18 years. It was a truly memorable series and one which had really hurt the Australians - so much so, the Australians were out for revenge in the 2006/07 series. This was achieved emphatically with a 5-0 whitewash.