An interesting footnote to the Jimmy Anderson's story is that my abiding memory of him (apart from some rather bizarre haircuts!) is not of him bowling but him crying! Having just been dismissed late in the day in a test to hand a victory to Sri Lanka, he fronted up at the presentation only to promptly burst into tears. It brought home to the viewing public how much playing for England meant to him.
The second Test between England and Pakistan beginning tomorrow (July 22) at Old Trafford has acquired a strange tension, which is vastly more intense and different from the buzz surrounding the crowd reaction to Mohammed Amir's return to the stage where he had let the cricketing world down.
What should worry the mandarins of the game in its country of birth, however, is the complete lack of purpose and direction of the current team. The immediate task for England is simple - do not allow India to win any more tests in the series, and win at least one for itself.
Australia captain Michael Clarke has been fined 20% of his match fee after he warned James Anderson to expect a "f*****g
Cricket is a game of fine margins, where outcomes can often come down to a matter of centimetres. Unfortunately for England selectors, that doesn't make the job of choosing the third seamer for the first Ashes Test any easier...
As we bid farewell to them, the 18 months that these four men spent sweeping aside all before them will live long in the memory. This standard of cricket in this summer's Ashes series had nothing on the five act Greek comedy/tragedy (depending on which hemisphere you come from) that 2005 served up...
Bigger is better, at least in the minds of the England selectors. The squad for the return Ashes trip this winter - or their summer - includes four towering seam bowlers in Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Chris Tremlett and the as-yet-uncapped Irishman Boyd Rankin.
England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad declined to speak about the celebrations which followed the Test side's Ashestriumph
It ended, not with a match-saving century or a game-winning delivery, but with bad light casting a shadow over the 2013 Ashes. However, the two sides are a lot closer than the scoreline would have you believe, as reflected in the following combined XI of the teams' best players...
England players can afford to relax after their Lord's victory against Australia gave them a 2-0 Ashes lead, and the Test