The Ashes Series 2017-18 will be Gullivers' 10th Ashes Tour Down Under! Our first Ashes tour was in 1982 and we'd like to share with you some memories from the last 35 years.
We are the longest running cricket travel operator in the UK, and although travel has changed a lot since then, we are still passionate about creating that special camaraderie only experienced out on tour.
Our first Ashes Tour to Australia. Although England came out of the series losing 2-1, the tour will be remembered for one of the most heroic failures of Allan Border and Jeff Thomson. After going into the 4th Test 2-0 down, England fought back in Melbourne to give themselves a chance of a series draw.
With Australia still needing 74 runs with only one wicket remaining, England’s victory was surely inevitable. Border and Thomson battled through day five taking the match down to the wire before Ian Botham was brought back into the attack. Falling just three runs short, Thomson and Border’s heroic last wicket stand came to an end when Botham had Thomson caught behind by Tavare.
Under the captaincy of Mike Gatting and with the brilliance of Chris Broad, England retained the urn with a 2-1 series win over. Man of the series Broad inspired the England side with 487 runs including three centuries.
With the series already wrapped up in the 4th Test, it was Australia who came out victors in the 5th Test. A match that will be remembered as “Taylor’s match” with New South Wales off-spinner Peter Taylor making his debut. Although Taylor’s selection was dubbed by the media as a mistake, Taylor went on to take eight wickets in the match and held his own with a handy 42 with the bat.
Saved in the 1st Test by rain, Alec Stewart’s men were unable to replicate past Ashes success and slumped to a 3-1 series loss against an Australian side that were evolving into one of the greatest sides in the world. Throughout the series, England struggled with the bat much to the delight of Australia leg-spinner, Stuart McGill.
Dean Headley’s heroics in the second innings skittled Australia for 162 giving England a glimmer of hope as they won the 4th Test in Melbourne. We saw Darren Gough get his hat trick – right at the end of play in Sydney.
A disastrous tour, including a controversial decision by captain Nasser Hussain in Brisbane after winning the toss – he elected to field.
England visited Australia with one of the world’s best batsman in Michael Vaughan who dominated attacks all over the globe and managed three centuries in the series. England lost the series 4-1 to what is regarded as the best Test side in the history of the sport.
England struggled throughout the series coming up against the dominant Australian batting line-up which included Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martyn and Gilchrist. England did manage to take home a snippet of joy when they defeated Australia by 225 runs in Sydney which included fine hundreds from Mark Butcher and Michael Vaughan.
Who can forget the infamous snow in the UK that winter? Lots of flights were cancelled or delayed and Heathrow closed its doors due to the backlog of flights, but all our clients got there in time for the Melbourne Test on Boxing Day. They took coach/ferry combinations, different flight routings, had reduced stopovers in the Far East and one couple that were getting married looked likely not to make it due to the delays…but we got them there!
This year was the first time England had won the Ashes on Australian soil since the 1986/87 series. They went on to win 3-1 and the series was dubbed “Cook’s Series” after he scored 766 runs including an unbeaten 235 to save the game at the Gabba. England’s batting form continued throughout the tour with many notable performances including Pietersen’s double hundred in Adelaide and Trott’s match winning 168 not out in Melbourne.