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Historic Ashes Quotes - some classics!
"A six-foot blond-haired beach bum bowling at 90mph trying to knock your head off and then telling you you're a feeble-minded tosser... where's the problem?"
Michael Atherton's view of cricket, toned down for the official website of the Professional Cricketers Association, prior to the 2001 Ashes series

"How anyone can spin a ball the width of Gatting boggles the mind."
Martin Johnson, in The Independent, on Shane Warne's ball of the century which bowled Mike Gatting in 1993

"If it had been a cheese roll, it would never have got past him."
Graham Gooch joins the fun

"A fart competing with thunder."
England in Australia in 1990-91, as assessed by their captain Graham Gooch

"McCague will go down in Test cricket history as the rat who joined the sinking ship."
Daily Telegraph Mirror in Sydney upon Martin McCague's 1993 selection for England against Australia, where he was raised and schooled

"Tufnell! Can I borrow your brain? I'm building an idiot."
One of the funnier Australian barrackers as Phil Tufnell was pilloried by the crowd in Newcastle, Ashes series, 1994-5

"Hell, Gatt, move out of the way, I can't see the stumps."
Dennis Lillee, stopping in mid-run at Lilac Hill, treats Mike Gatting to a spot of verbals for old times' sake, opening match of England's 1994-95 Ashes tour

"What do you think this is, a f***ing tea party? No you can't have a f***ing glass of water. You can f***ing wait like all the rest of us."
Allan Border, getting tough with England batsman Robin Smith, Trent Bridge Test, Australia tour of England, 1989

"There are three great international team sports in Australia: cricket, rugby (two codes), and Pom-bashing. But the greatest of these is the last, and it is time we prepared ourselves for the greatest celebration of Pom-bashing since Bodyline, the 1930s cricket tour that became an international incident. That one rankles to this day and is otherwise known as the longest whinge in sporting history."
The Times's Simon Barnes anticipates an upturn in anti-English feeling in the Australian media ahead of the rugby World Cup final

"I dunno. Maybe it's that tally-ho lads attitude. You know, there'll always be an England, all that Empire crap they dish out. But I never could cop Poms."
Jeff Thomson Australian fast bowler, 1987

"All the never-say-die qualities of a kamikaze pilot."
England's cricketers in the 1990s, as seen by an Australian journalist

"If you're playing against the Australians, you don't walk."
Ian Botham, in court during Imran Khan libel action, 1996. Not walking had been suggested as an example of unreliable character

"England have only three major problems. They can't bat, they can't bowl and they can't field."
Martin Johnson's famed assessment in The Independent at the start of England's tour of Australia 1986-7. England's recovery to win the Ashes later led Johnson to remark: "Right quote; wrong team."

"Come on Brearley, for God's sake! You make Denness look like Don Bradman."
Melbourne barracker, not finding Mike Brearley to his tastes, Australia vs England, 1978-9

"Chappell was a coward. He needed a crowd around him before he would say anything. He was sour like milk that had been sitting in the sun for a week."
Ian Chappell slated by Ian Botham

"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if Thomson don't get ya, Lillee must."
The dominance of Australian fast bowlers Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, captured in a Sydney Telegraph cartoon caption, 1975

"Don't give the bastard a drink. Let him die of thirst."
Douglas Jardine's favourite piece of barracking from Sydney crowd during Bodyline series, 1932-33

"A cricket tour in Australia would be the most delightful period in your life ... if you were deaf."
Harold Larwood England's main fast bowler on the Bodyline tour. He later emigrated to Australia

"All Australians are an uneducated and unruly mob."
Douglas Jardine to Stork Hendry, Australia's wicketkeeper, during the Bodyline series

"I don't want to see you Mr Warner. There are two teams out there; one is trying to play cricket and the other is not."
Bill Woodfull, Australia's captain, to Pelham Warner, the England manager, during the nadir of the Bodyline series at Adelaide

"If we don't beat you, we'll knock your bloody heads off."
Bill Voce England fast bowler, to Vic Richardson at the start of the Bodyline series

"Well, we shall win the Ashes but we may lose a Dominion."
Rockley Wilson. former first-class cricketers and Douglas Jadrine's coach at Winchester, on hearing that Jardine would captain MCC in Australia, 1932-3

"I am not talking to anyone in the British media ... they are all pricks."
Allan Border Australia's captain, at a press conference at Hove in 1993

"Hey, hey, hey, hey! I'm f***ing talking to you. Come here, come here, come here, come here...Do that again and you're on the next plane home, son...What was that? You f***ing test me and you'll see."
Border, on the same tour, in a mid-pitch exchange with Craig McDermott at Taunton. McDermott asked to bowl at the other end

"In my day 58 beers between London and Sydney would have virtually classified you as a teetotaller."
Ian Chappell on being informed that David Boon had consumed 58 beers on team flight to England in 1989. Boon claimed that he was afraid of flying

"With the possible exception of Rolf Harris, no other Australian has inflicted more pain and grief on Englishmen since Don Bradman."
The Daily Mirror's Mike Walters reflects on Steve Waugh's retirement


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