2005 in Review /

Best and worst

The other Ashes and Hussey's long wait

Cricinfo and Wisden writers select their best and worst moments from 2005

George Binoy

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Jenny Thompson

England's women captured their Ashes after a wait of 42 years © Getty Images

Eighteen years without an Ashes series win - that's a long time. Now try 42. England's women finally did it at Worcester in September, and they came to the Trafalgar party, as well; jumping on the buses and then on to the stage with the men. Quite right, too. That victory crowned a great year for the women's game in which the IWCC merged with the ICC and players were paid - for the first time. Two giant leaps for womankind.

Why did it have to end? The moment England won the Ashes was both zenith and nadir - and not just because I missed out on the Greatest Party Ever TM through having my Wisdom teeth out. No - all our Christmases came at once during a scorching summer of sustained and never-to-be-repeated Test drama; it was truly breathtaking stuff. But now what? Well, my mouth has healed but a kind of numbness lingers.

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo

George Binoy

Mike Hussey waited a long time for a Test career, and boy did he enjoy his first century © Getty Images

There's something very pleasing when years of hard work are met with just reward. Michael Hussey's elation at capping 176 first-class matches worth of effort with a century in his second Test was thoroughly heart-felt and a pleasure to watch. It had the joy of a little boy who'd made the team for the first time. Though, at 30, his career may not have the longevity to make him an all-time great, it's a safe bet that he'd never trade that century at Hobart for a 10-year career.

The individual is never greater than the game. Several cricketers have had their careers cut short by a few years for the greater common good, but sections of the 80,000-strong multitude at Kolkata behaved like dropping Sourav Ganguly was blasphemy. Loud cheers for South Africa, believed only by the utterly naïve to be a sporting gesture, were drowned by deafening jeers targeted at India. It was a disgraceful moment and one that will most certainly rank as one of the worst moments in the careers of the players.

George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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