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September 13, 2005
Dressed in dark suits and ties and accompanied by their wives and children, the players smiled and waved to the crowds a day after they regained the Ashes trophy from Australia for the first time in 16 years.
Dozens of police officers in fluorescent yellow jackets marched beside the slow-moving bus, followed by a similar bus with the English women's cricket team, as the parade moved past St Paul's Cathedral to Trafalgar Square.
"It's been a long night," said Michael Vaughan, clutching the replica Ashes urn "We've celebrated in true English fashion and this is incredible." The party certainly did go on into the early hours, and Andrew Flintoff, who finished his own celebrations at around 7am, looked far from raring to go as the side boarded the bus at 10.30am. "I'm struggling now," he admitted. "I've not been to bed yet and, behind these sunglasses, is a thousand stories."
But as it quickly became clear that huge numbers of the public had turned out to say thank you, any delicate heads on the top deck soon cleared.
The bus then headed to Downing Street for a reception hosted by Tony Blair, and after that the side travelled to Lord's where the urn was formally handed over to the MCC.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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