Gods and Flannelled Fools is a new series in which I take a trip through the history of English test match cricket. If you are curious as to the myths and legends of the game, or perhaps a follower of the limited overs format and can't work out what the fuss is all about when it comes to test cricket, this might be of interest to you!
In each episode I will pick up on a specific test series, starting with the very first test matches and continuing through to the present day, including at least one series from each decade. Each episode will focus on a series, match or individual of note, perhaps looking at a famous incident, performance or a great line up.
In episode ten I pick up the journey in the aftermath of the malaise of the early sixties and chart the rise in fortunes under the passionate leadership of Ray Illingworth in the latter part of the decade, culminating in a winning run of test series victories and a much more balanced, talented side capable of winning home and away in different conditions.
Here, I focus on the Ashes Series of 1970-71 Down Under, a series that ended up with seven test matches scheduled in the eight-ball an over format. This was a pivotal series in many way, ushering in a new generation of Australian players, a decline in player behaviour and a new emphasis on fast bowling. It also featured the very first One Day International in Melbourne. The series will be remembered for the batting of Geoff Boycott and the fast bowling efforts of John Snow, although the English side also included a host of household names such as Basil D'Oliveira, John Edrich, Alan Knott and "Deadly" Derek Underwood.
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