The other Ashes and Hussey's long wait

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


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