To most interested in English cricket, the impact of the 2005 Ashes triumph cannot be understated.
Simon Jones was one of the key men in helping the Three Lions end years of hurt and inspire a whole generation of cricket fans, and, speaking on the latest episode of The Shackles Are Off podcast, the former England seamer has revealed what made that squad so special.
Injuries meant Jones never quite made it back to that level but he was near unplayable at times in the summer of 2005, terrorising the Aussies as part of Michael Vaughan’s five-pronged bowling attack.
All five ended the series with at least 10 wickets, while the Welshman took 18 – the second-most of any England bowler – despite missing the final Test.
Speaking on The Shackles Are Off podcast, Jones discussed the 2005 Ashes series and revealed what made the squad so special.
He said: “The biggest thing for me with that group (the four seamers), and obviously Ashley Giles, is there was never any competition. There was never any ‘I want to try and outdo him today’.”
“When you hear about Andy Caddick and Darren Gough, they were always trying to outdo each other, whereas with us, we were really happy for each other’s success.
“When Harmy got that 7-12 I was made up for him. I think the biggest thing for us as a quartet of seamers was we all complimented each other.
“Harmy and Fred hit the deck hard, Harmy got a bit more bounce. Hoggy swung it round corners and then I could swing it and do reverse swing it as well. Then we had Gilo to hold an end up, give us a rest, and then when it came into the second innings he’d be ragging it and he’d be in the game.
“It was just a very well balanced attack but the best thing was the relationship we had as a group. We enjoyed each other’s company off the field. There are so many changing rooms I’ve been in where you have to work together but off the field, you don’t want to be anywhere near them.”
Jones added: “That’s what made that squad so special was that we all enjoyed each other’s company.
“Look, we enjoyed each other’s company, we had a couple of beers together. After the Ashes, that’s the drunkest I’ve ever been but it couldn’t have been with a better bunch of boys.”
For the full interview with Simon Jones, check out the latest episode of The Shackles Are Off podcast…