CARDIFF: Australia captain Michael Clarke has said he would “love” the upcoming Ashes series to be as memorable as the 2005 campaign, albeit with a different result. Clarke is the sole Australian survivor from a side that went down 2-1 in England a decade ago during one of the greatest Ashes series of all time....
CARDIFF: Australia captain Michael Clarke has said he would “love” the upcoming Ashes series to be as memorable as the 2005 campaign, albeit with a different result.
Clarke is the sole Australian survivor from a side that went down 2-1 in England a decade ago during one of the greatest Ashes series of all time.
It was the first of three losing Ashes tours for Clarke, with the now 34-year-old batsman also having to endure series defeats in 2009 and 2013, but in some ways the most instructive too.
“I think 2005 is one of my most special Test match series,” said Clarke on the eve of this season's first Ashes Test in Cardiff.
“It introduced me to what Ashes cricket is. It showed me how tough the cricket is.
“The way the series was built up and the way it was played was exceptional. I would love to see similar cricket this time.”
Clarke, looking to lead Australia to their first away Ashes series win since 2001, added: “I would love to see the people of England get right behind the series, and the people from back home to be glued to their television sets.
“Any competitive series like that is great for the game. Part of our role as players is to entertain and perform and put on a good show.
“I'd like the result to be a little bit different, but I thought it was a fantastic series,” said Clarke, who oversaw Australia's 5-0 Ashes thrashing of England on home soil in 2013/14.
The way in which Andrew Flintoff took time out to console Australia's Brett Lee following England's nailbiting win in the second Test at Edgbaston was one of the defining images of the 2005 Ashes.
However, a repeat of such sportsmanship has been the last thing on many observers' minds amid fears this latest Ashes campaign will be marred by the acrimonious scenes that were a feature of the 2013/14 series.
Clarke was at the centre of one of those when he told England tailender James Anderson to get ready for a “broken fucking arm” in Brisbane.
But Clarke, who later announced via Twitter that he and wife Kyly were expecting the couple's first child, said: “The way we've been brought up is to play tough competitive cricket on the field, but I certainly understand the respect, the rules and regulations of our game and where that line sits.
“I've made it very clear in the last series that if somebody overstepped that mark it was me and as captain of this team I need to be more disciplined and I know I will be.” (AFP)