Ashes books and DVDs

This summer's Ashes series has brought in its wake the inevitable flurry of books and DVDs. Cricinfo brings you the best of the bunch


The Miracle of Headingley 81 - Rob Steen and Alastair McLellan
Factually on the ball, this in-depth reflection on one of English cricket's finest hours really excels when some of the protagonists look back on events. At times it rather dwells on the social background to 1981, but anyone looking for more on a remarkable match should start here.

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The Ashes' Strangest Moments - Mark Baldwin
This new title in Robson's Strangest series, this entertaining book manages to give a good account of the history of the the Ashes - every series is covered to some degree - as well as highlight some of the more memorable or odd incidents which have been thrown up, and so will appeal to the more knowledgable as well as the relative newcomer.

The Ashes - A Guide to Cricket's Most Enduring Rivalry - Dean Hayes
This new book is a thrilling account of the longest rivalry in cricketing history, bringing the great matches and the great England and Australia players of yesteryear vividly to life. From the early days, through bodyline to today's record-breaking Australia team, it's much more than a simple book of statistics.

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Great Ashes Battles - Bernard Whimpress
This book describes, in stirring detail, 13 of the most gripping and controversial Test matches between England and Australia from 1877 to 2005. Along the way, the authors revise many of cricket history's cherised myths about incidents on and off the field.

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Victory - Great England Test Wins - Alan Bone
This book celebrates some of the more remarkable England successes in the Test match arena over the years 1968 to 2005. With detailed day-by-day accounts of the 30 most notable Test wins of the period, each put in its context in terms of the overall performance of the national team, the author carries the reader through a gripping narrative from the famous "Sobers declaration" to the comprehensive 2004 series win against the West Indies and the successful South African tour of 2004-05. Along with the description of each match you will find a fascinating selection of photographs, detailed comments on each game by Christopher Martin-Jenkins and a full scorecard. At a time of resurgence of the England side the book draws together much to inspire a new generation of players and cricket enthusiasts as well as evoking treasured memories among their predecessor

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How We Recovered The Ashes - Pelham Warner
The latest excellent reprint from JW McKenzie, this time of the long out-of-print classic account of the 1903-04 Ashes series, liberally illustrated. A fascinating insight into how different tours a centruy ago were, and what a series as well.

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Ashes to Ashes - The Rise, Fall and Rise of English Cricket - Keith Fletcher
A belated memoir from the only man to captain and coach the England team, looking back on his success and difficulties in both roles. He also offers fresh insights into many of the controversies in the game, from the rebel tour of South Africa, to Mike Atherton's alleged ball tampering and his own treatment as England coach. The modern game also comes under the spotlight, as Fletcher assesses sledging, the value of overseas players and the complacency of administrators. Slightly dry, which will not surprise anyone who sat through one of his Test innings, but nevertheless worth a read.

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Botham's Ashes - The Miracle of Headingley '81 (BBC, 115 mins)
Regularly voted as one of the greatest moments in the history of British sport, Ian Botham's 149 not out against Australia at Headingley in 1981 was nothing short of miraculous. But the whole story of that match - and the part played by England's other heroes - is equally fascinating. This DVD includes all the footage of what Ian Botham described as 'a crazy, glorious, one-off fluke'. The DVD comprises the five highlight programmes that were broadcast along with a majority of his 149 second innings total. It represents the most complete amount of footage left in the BBC archive. It also includes an introduction by Ian Botham and specially filmed exclusive interview, filmed at Headingley, along with a photo gallery and a comprehensive set of statistics. Based on the 1981 video, there are significant changes in that this product concentrates on the Headingley match while the earlier release covered the whole series from the 3rd Test onwards.

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History of the Ashes (Green Umbrella, 120 mins)
An updated reissue presented by David Gower traces the complete history of The Ashes concluding with highlights England's 2002-03 series in Australia. Relive famous exploits from Ashes series past, including memorable performances from Victor Trumper, Clem Hill, Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe, as well as Bodyline and the unforgettable 1981 series - including "Botham's miracle" at Headingley. Extra features on this DVD include Gower reflecting on his own personal Ashes experiences including the infamous Tiger Moth incident.

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