Updated: Monday, 11th December 2017 @ 2:23pm

MM’s top five... Lancashire cricketers who represented England in the Ashes

MM’s top five... Lancashire cricketers who represented England in the Ashes

By Matthew Lees

This year marks yet another exciting Ashes summer.

After missing out in 2009, Greater Manchester cricket fans will have the chance to watch one of sport’s fiercest rivalries here at Old Trafford.

Ahead of the eagerly anticipated third test taking place between August 1 and 5, MM looks at the top five Lancashire cricketers batting for England in the Ashes.

5. Cyril Washbrook (Aug 1937-Aug 1956)

Lancashire’s first professional captain played 37 times for England in a career interrupted by World War Two and became well-known for opening with Len Hutton.

The war delayed his Ashes debut until 1946 where he and Hutton made three consecutive century stands, including Washbrook’s maiden ton in the third test at Melbourne.

Averaged 50.85 in the 1948 Ashes, but after an unsuccessful series two years later waited until 1956 to be selected again when he was 42.

4. Brian Statham (Mar 1951-Aug 1965)

John Brian Statham, sixth in England’s list of wicket-takers with 252, helped England win the Ashes Down Under in 1954-55 by 3-1.

Despite England losing 4-0 in the 1958-59 tour he claimed 7 wickets for 57, his best figures against Australia.

In the Fourth Test of the 1962/63 series, in Adelaide, he broke the all-time test wicket record by getting Barry Shepherd out to claim his 237th scalp.

3. Archie Maclaren (Dec 1894-Aug 1909)

He made 1,931 runs in the Ashes, reached three figures four times and was the only England captain to make a century against Australia until Peter May in the 1958/59 series.

Maclaren toured Australia and scored 2,769 runs at an average of over 50 making him one of the best regarded batsmen in the world Down Under.

He captained England in 22 of his 35 tests but suffered four Ashes defeats.

2. Johnny Briggs (Dec 1884-Jul 1899)

Briggs toured Australia six times, a record shared with Colin Cowdrey, and was the first bowler in Test cricket to take 100 wickets.

He was part of the 1886 squad which won the Ashes 3-0, England’s last whitewash victory over Australia in a series of three or more tests until 1977.

Briggs’ three wickets on the opening day of the 1899 Headingley Test took his Ashes wicket tally to 97 but he suffered a seizure that night and was admitted to Cheadle asylum.

1. Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff (July 1998-Aug 2009)

In the 2005 Second Test at Edgbaston, which England won by just two runs, he broke Sir Ian Botham's record of six sixes in an Ashes Test Match and took  seven wickets despite a shoulder injury.

Flintoff scored a century in the following test at Trent Bridge and took five wickets in the final test at the Oval earning him the inaugural Compton-Miller medal and man-of-the series.

He recovered from the humiliation of captaining England in their 2006-07 5-0 whitewash by helping reclaim the Ashes in 2009 with a man-of-the-match performance in the Lord’s Second Test and ran out Ricky Ponting in his final test.

Honourable mentions

James ‘Jimmy’ Anderson (May 2003-present)

Currently England’s joint-third test wicket taker, he was part of the squad whitewashed in the 2006/07 series.

However, Anderson has won both the 2009, which included defying Australia with his final wicket stand with Monty Panesar in the Cardiff First Test, and 2010/11 Ashes.

Unfortunate not to make the top five, he has back-to-back Ashes series coming up to cement his status as an England great.

Michael Atherton (Aug 1989-Aug 2001)

The former England captain won his second test as skipper in 1993, the first against Australia in 19 attempts, but failed to win a series before retiring at the end of the 2001 Ashes.

Now a journalist and broadcaster due to Glenn McGrath – who took Atherton’s wicket 19 times in 17 tests – he has a modest record against Australia with just one Ashes century and an average of 29.38.

Picture courtesy of z_fishies via Flickr, with thanks

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