CRICKET: England After 999-Tests: The Test moments that are remembered

Joy, Drama, Ecstasy: The Test moments English cricketers, broadcasters and journalists remember

As England’s men prepare for their 1,000th Test match this week, the great and the good recall the most memorable

The Times UK

Ian Botham: England 1977-92 and former captain

England beat Australia by seven wickets, Brisbane, November 1986

Before the first Test in Brisbane we were written off — we couldn’t bat, bowl or field. But we went out and won that and we won everything. It was the best tour I’ve been on — we won the Test series, the one-dayers and the triangular series.              

Duncan Fletcher: England coach 1999-2007

England beat Australia by two runs, Edgbaston August 2005

It has to be that Ashes Test at Edgbaston in 2005, just because it was so tense, so important and against such a good Australian side. The one at Trent Bridge in that series is close, though, because there was a different kind of pressure then. I should also mention that win over Pakistan in the dark in Karachi in 2000. That was special too.

 

Marcus Trescothick: England batsman 2000-06

England beat Australia by two runs, Edgbaston, August 2005

I have chosen this for many different reasons. I got runs in the first innings (90) and the way we batted on that first day it was almost like a benefit game. There were runs everywhere and wickets falling left, right and centre. It was carefree cricket, but that was a great start to what we needed after being beaten at Lord’s. Then it was so close at the end and you just thought, “this is over” and then, bang, you win.

 

Ted Dexter: England 1958-68, chairman of selectors 1989-93

England beat Australia by seven wickets, Melbourne, December 1962

We drew the first Test at Brisbane and were still seen as underdogs. Next came the traditional New Year Test at Melbourne. It was a smash hit with more than 300,000 spectators in total. We needed 237 to win on the fourth day, David Sheppard made a century and I contributed a half-century after making 93 in the first innings. I was very proud of my team as we won with a bit in hand.

 

Steve James: England 1998 and Times cricket writer

Sri Lanka beat England by 10 wickets, the Oval, August 1998

Yes, we lost. Yes, I never played for England again. Yes, my best man was arrested after a day in hospitality. Yes, I spent most of the second day asleep on the physio’s couch, but that was because my daughter was born early that morning and I had popped back to Cardiff. It is a Test I will never forget and I did manage to bat for a bit against Muttiah Muralitharan before becoming two of his 16 victims.

Alec Stewart: 1990-2003, former captain

England beat South Africa by 23 runs, Headingley, August 1998

We won a tight game and it was also the first time England had won a five-Test series for years. We were 1-0 down after losing at Lord’s but came back to win 2-1 — and I was captain.

Isa Guha: England women’s team 2002-11, Sky commentator

England beat West Indies by two wickets at Lord’s, June 2000

I was 15 and in the England development squad, so learning my cricket and watching a lot of men’s cricket to try to help me. Darren Gough and Dominic Cork were my bowling heroes and Courtney Walsh was on fire in that match. There was real drama with that twitchy moment before Cork got the winning runs.

Eleanor Oldroyd: BBC Radio Five Live presenter

England drew with Australia, the Oval, September 2005

When you have longed for something like this there was an undercurrent of worry that victory could be snatched from England’s grasp but Kevin Pietersen played the best innings you will ever see. It all came down to the contest between him and Shane Warne and when Warne came off, because Australia knew their fate, everybody stood to applaud him. In one hand I had my phone and in the other a glass of Australian chardonnay and to join in the applause I had to drop my phone into the glass of wine — where it died but I did not care. I had witnessed history being made.

 

Alison Mitchell: Commentator for Test Match Special, Sky Sports and Channel 5

England beat India by ten wickets, Mumbai, November 2012

Kevin Pietersen’s 186 in demanding conditions and against quality bowling was mastery and genius in front of our eyes. And it was virtually flawless. The impact of the innings was particularly sweet after England’s heavy defeat in Ahmedabad the match before. Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann then cleaned up in the second innings to turn the tables on India on their own turf, levelling the series and providing the thrilling hope of a first Test series win in India for 28 years — which duly happened in Kolkata.

 

Micky Stewart: England batsman 1962-64 and England manager 1986-92

England beat Pakistan by nine wickets, Lord’s, June 1962

This was my Test debut and, as a London boy, everyone who had helped me get towards the England team was at Lord’s that day, from Surrey, my club, my school. I’d never been one to suffer particularly from nerves, but I wasn’t quite prepared for how I’d feel walking out of the Lord’s pavilion in a Test match. It was the one and only time in my career that I could feel nerves affecting my physical movement.

I don’t quite know how I survived the first three overs. After that, I was all right, I made 39 in the first innings, then 34 not out second time around as we knocked off 86 to win. But I’d realised very quickly the difference between playing for your county and playing for your country.

 

Keith Fletcher: England 1968-82 and England manager 1993-95

England beat New Zealand by an innings and 83 runs, Auckland, February 1975

The most memorable Test for me was when I made 216 at Eden Park, my highest Test score. We won the match as well. They had a decent attack in the 1970s with the likes of the Hadlees and Hedley Howarth, the left-arm spinner. The Test was memorable in a sadder way. Ewen Chatfield, the New Zealand tailender, was hit by a bouncer from Peter Lever and Bernard Thomas, the England physio, had to revive him.

Mark Butcher: England 1997-2004 and Sky commentator

England beat West Indies by eight wickets, Bridgetown, April 2004

Huge English support, a genius century with the tail from Graham Thorpe, a Matthew Hoggard hat-trick, a first series win in the Caribbean for 56 years and a week off to celebrate between Tests. If Carlsberg did Test matches!

Rob Key: England 2002-09 and Sky commentator

England drew with South Africa, Headingley, 2012

For Kevin Pietersen’s 149. It was the best v the best: KP counterattacking Dale Steyn was as destructive and entertaining an innings as I’ve ever seen. A passage of play I’ll never forget.

Mike Gatting: England batsman 1978-95 and former captain

England beat India by nine wickets, Chennai, January 1985

This was a tour that is burnt into the memory of anyone who went on it, for any number of reasons. Early in the tour, Indira Gandhi, the Indian prime minister, was assassinated and we decamped to Sri Lanka for safety.

While in Sri Lanka, a huge bomb went off, then, after our return to Mumbai, the British deputy high commissioner, Percy Norris, was also assassinated. You can only imagine the tension going into that first Test. I was lucky enough to make my first Test century there, while Laxman Sivaramakrishnan took 12 wickets. We lost that Test, but we were all relieved it was over.

The rest of the tour was pretty memorable too, not least for me at Chennai, where Graeme Fowler and I became the first England batsmen to make double-centuries in the same Test innings.

John Emburey: England 1978-95

England beat Australia by 29 runs, Edgbaston, 1981

I’d been 12th man for the previous game at Headingley, which, as everyone knows, we won in the most amazing circumstances with Mike Brearley as captain again and Ian Botham was let off the leash after underperforming as skipper.

Then we got to Edgbaston, it was a low-scoring game, and Australia were chasing 151 to win. I’d got four wickets in the first innings, I got a few runs in the second innings and it was getting a bit edgy in Australia’s chase, they were 80-odd for three, with Allan Border and Graham Yallop looking comfortable. But I got Yallop caught by Botham at silly mid-off, then I got Border with one that took off a bit, and we were back in the game.

After that, it was over to Botham, with his incredible spell of five for one.

Elizabeth Ammon: Times cricket writer

England beat Australia by 74 runs, Chester-le-Street, August 2013

The spell of bowling by Stuart Broad to wrap up the match on the fourth evening was one of the most impressive I have seen live. Every ball looked as though it were going to take a wicket and when Broad is in that zone it’s an absolute spectacle.

Clive Radley: England 1978

England drew with New Zealand, Auckland, March 1978

I managed to make 158 in 11 hours against an attack including Richard Hadlee, Lance Cairns and Richard Collinge, who dismissed Geoff Boycott a few times. I found the transition from county to Test cricket was OK, partly because some of the best bowlers were playing for Kerry Packer. This was my highest score in eight Tests.

 

David Gower: England 1978-92, Sky commentator and former captain

England beat Australia by an innings and 94 runs, the Oval, August 1985

I was captain and we needed to win the game to make sure we took the Ashes. Graham Gooch and I scored hundreds on day one and that set us up beautifully to win the Test and the series 3-1. Standing on the Oval balcony with the urn was a special memory. Your entire being as an England cricketer was about winning the Ashes so that was very special.

Graeme Fowler: England 1982-85

England lost to West Indies by nine wickets, Lord’s, June 1984

We were on top for four days, then Gordon Greenidge scores a quick double hundred and we lost. I scored a ton in the first innings. Ah well.

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Comments

  • Clyde Duncan  On July 31, 2018 at 2:36 pm

  • dhanpaul narine  On August 1, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Thanks for the memories Clyde, those were the days. These days, Test cricket is played to empty stadiums in the Caribbean. Something is not right.

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