It’s more than just a sporting contest. It’s the pride of two nations, where victory couldn’t be sweeter, but defeat is the bitterest taste of all. It’s a rivalry that transcends sport and creates true heroes and villains. This is Legends of the Ashes, hosted by lifelong cricket fan and current Marylebone Cricket Club President, Stephen Fry.
This podcast series will delve deep into the stories that make the England versus Australia rivalry one of the greatest there is. Relive incredible matches and history-altering moments with new, revealing insights from cricketing royalty including Lord Botham, Sir Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and modern-day heroes such as James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steve Smith.
Legends of the Ashes is written by ‘The Analyst’ Simon Hughes and produced in collaboration with Goalhanger Podcasts.
In the summer of 2019 England hosted the Cricket World Cup and the Ashes. 48 one-day internationals and six Tests in 14 crazy weeks, it was the stuff of dreams for all cricket lovers. And every dream needs a hero. Step forward Benjamin Andrew Stokes.After his heroics in that chaotic World Cup final, things looked to be taking a turn for the worse when Australia were about to go 2-0 up in the Ashes at Headingley. But Stokes bowled his heart out to stop the Aussies obliterating England and then played one of the greatest ever Test match innings with the bat to see his side home by one wicket.Stuart Broad reveals what was going on in the England dressing room as that incredible innings unfolded and why Ben Stokes’ leadership and personality were so vital. Australia’s coach Justin Langer and star player Steve Smith as they recall the feeling of the game slipping away from them. And Ian Botham gives us his verdict on the man that may well turn out to be “the next Botham”.
Many Ashes series have been won by pairs of great bowlers. In this episode, the most potent combinations – from Lillee and Thompson, Botham and Willis, Warne and McGrath to the most recent deadly duo, Anderson and Broad.James Anderson and Stuart Broad explain how they work together to methodically analyse conditions and opponents and recognise when they need to do the heavy lifting and cover for their mate.Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne discus the importance of building pressure as a pair and how they would come together to strangle the opposition. Ian Chappell also gives a telling insight into managing a pair of bowling aces, in his case Lillee and Thompson. He reveals how he first had to get them to stop competing with each other in order to get the best from them.
England planned their 2010/11 campaign in Australia, where they had not won a series for 25 years, with military precision.The strategy of captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower was based on patience, stamina, consistency and making mountains of runs.The Ashes were sealed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground when England bowled Australia out for 98 on Boxing Day in front of 90,000 Australians.Key participants Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann explain how it was done and why it had nothing to do with a military-style bootcamp in a German forest shortly before the series started.We also learn how the team’s signature celebration, the 'sprinkler dance' was born on the dance floor of an Australian nightclub.
Australia reinvented the game in the late 1990’s with three aggressive opening batsmen: Matthew Hayden, Michael Slater and Justin Langer. To compound England’s woes, they were followed by greats Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh and adding the coup de grace – Adam Gilchrist, wielding his bat like a Samurai sword.They intimidated England’s attack, sending them into submission, then Warne and McGrath cleaned up the batsmen. England barely won a match in six series.Langer and Gilchrist take us inside the Australian dressing room and explain how the ethos they created led to such domination.England’s Michael Vaughan reveals how intimidating it was to line-up against this 'invincible' side and how he eventually managed to fight back.
No-one has burst onto the Ashes scene as dramatically as Shane Warne did in 1993. With his first ever delivery in an Ashes contest he dramatically clean bowled Mike Gatting with a ball that turned and bounced ferociously.It became simply known as “That Ball”. It transformed not just Ashes matches but the way spin was used worldwide.The tales of Warne’s words and deeds are legion, and in this episode we reveal new insight into his impact and tricks with the people who had to unravel them, including Mike Gatting, Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain. We also hear from those that had the pleasure of sharing a dressing room with him - Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath.
In 1981 Ian Botham became a national sporting hero.From the depths of despair after being sacked as England captain, he fought back to lead a remarkable resurgence. All while playing some of the most scintillating cricket the game had ever seen.In this episode you'll hear from the key protagonists of one of English crickets finest moments. Botham himself explains how he managed to transform his mindset after being unceremoniously stripped of the captaincy.His replacement as captain, Mike Brearley, reveals how he used his training as a psychologist to recapture the best from Botham. Bob Willis takes us into that incredible game at Headingley, the turning point for the series, and England batsman Mike Gatting recalls how Botham found a cheeky way to rub salt in the wounds of the Australians - by commandeering their champagne.
The Australian batsman Vic Richardson played in the first Bodyline series and was terrorised by the English bowlers. His grandson was the gimlet-eyed Australian captain Ian Chappell. Having heard so many of his grandfather’s stories, he vowed revenge.In 1974/5 he unleashed the marauding Dennis Lillee and the supersonic Jeff Thomson on England – the fastest, nastiest pair of bowlers in history. England were battered to a chastening defeat.We hear from Ian Chappell as he explains the joy he took in exacting revenge for his grandfather whilst David Lloyd tells a hilarious story of being hit in the box and knocking the ‘dints’ out in the changing room before his next innings.
The 1932/3 Ashes in Australia was one of the most volatile contests in sporting history.This was down to the phenomenon that was Donald Bradman and England’s desperate attempts to stop him scoring masses of runs, something they were far too familiar with at that point.The plan was a revenge mission called Leg Theory, which involved targeting Bradman’s body with quick, hostile bowling.The brutal approach created bad blood between the sides, a near riot in Adelaide and even forced prime ministers to get involved just to keep the series going.
Four players have dominated Ashes series more than any others: Donald Bradman, Ian Botham, Shane Warne and Freddie Flintoff. In this episode, their immense impact, most dramatic moments and behind the scenes antics. You'll hear how the phenomenon Bradman shunned his teammates and never socialised, quite the contrast to Botham who lured leading members of the opposition out for the night so they couldn’t perform the next day.You'll also hear how Warne undermined opponents with brilliant one-liners and amazing deception, and how Flintoff embraced the title of talisman to be at his destructive best.
The 2005 Ashes is widely thought to be the greatest Test series in the history of the competition. It enthralled two nations and catapulted Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff to icon status.A titanic battle between bat and ball, featuring one of the closest ever test match finishes, it was the series that had it all and breathed life back into English cricket.Its dramatic ebb and flow is retold by the likes of Michael Vaughan, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Andrew Strauss. Narrated by lifelong cricket fan and current Marylebone Cricket Club President, Stephen Fry.
It’s more than just a sporting contest. It’s the pride of two nations, where victory couldn’t be sweeter, but defeat is the bitterest taste of all. It’s a rivalry that transcends sport and creates true heroes and villains. This is Legends of the Ashes, hosted by lifelong cricket fan and current Marylebone Cricket Club President, Stephen Fry.Over 10 episodes, this podcast series will delve deep into the stories that make the England versus Australia rivalry one of the greatest there is. Relive incredible matches and history-altering moments with new, revealing insights from cricketing royalty including Lord Botham, Sir Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and modern-day heroes such as James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steve Smith.All episodes available now.You can listen on Global Player. Download it from the App store or search for ‘Legends of the Ashes’ at globalplayer.com