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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Another memorable Ashes comes to an end

Paul Collingwood will not be featuring for England in tests again but his stunning catch to remove Ponting in Perth is just one of many highlights for England in a inspiring series.

For so many years the Ashes was a symbol of pain and torture for England fans. Australia steamrolling every team that stood in their path and dominating the famous series for nearly 20 years, they were the power house of world cricket. How times change.

England have completely and utterly destroyed Australia in the past three months. They have outplayed, outthought and out-coached their greatest nemesis to record a memorable 3-1 victory and that is a joy to watch for any English cricket enthusiast.

And now it has come to an end. It all started back in November when Andrew Strauss fell third ball before Peter Siddle took a hat-trick and every England fan was getting that all too familar sinking feeling. It was built up as our greatest chance of an Ashes win down under and we were getting hammered after just one day.

Who would have thought that on the 4th day of the final test Graeme Swann would be smashing 20 runs of a Mitchell Johnson over to guide England to their highest ever score in Australia having already secured the Ashes?

It's been another unforgettable series. Up and downs, twists and turns all the way with England coming out on top by a distance.

And a tribute to the departing Collingwood. England have made some giant strides in the game of cricket and much of that is to do with the ginger stalwart. His drive and desire to succeed matches that of anyone to have played the game. He always puts the team ahead of himself and never let his success get to his ahead.

He retires with a very healthy average 40.56 - better than Atherton, Stewart, Hussain and Gatting - also scoring over 4,000 runs. His average of above 50 against the power houses of world cricket - India, Pakistan, South Africa and Australia - shows that he always made runs went it mattered most and that is a sign of a great player.

I once again feel privileged to be growing up at a time when English cricket is on such a high and to witness another inspiring series.

England - You have done your nation proud, very well played!

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