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‘England are c**p’ – Warne recalls Hughes advice on what makes the Ashes special

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Looking back at his maiden Ashes series, former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne recalled Merv Hughes’ golden words on what made cricket’s oldest rivalry such a big deal.

Warne’s first Ashes series, forever remembered for the “ball of the century” he delivered to England’s No.3 Mike Gatting, took place in 1993, when Warne was a 23-year-old prodigy, with a world of talent.
“I remember sitting on the plane with Merv, asking, ‘Merv, what’s so special about the Ashes?'” Warne recalled, in episode two of A Week With Warnie. “I remember being in Bristol playing league cricket when you regained the Ashes [in 1989], it looked awesome.’

“He goes, ‘I’ll tell you why it’s so good. There’s no air travel. You’re sitting on a bus with all your teammates for six months, just driving around. Two: we’re sponsored by a beer company. Three: There’s still rest days in Test cricket. Four: England are cr*p.’

“He said the Ashes series are awesome!”

Warne had a highly successful tour of England, picking up 34 wickets, the most by a bowler from either side, in the six-Test series.

That included a pair of four-fors in the series opener at Manchester, and Warne recollected the feeling of being selected for an Ashes series. “Being selected for an Ashes series was pretty amazing. We still didn’t get a cap presented or anything like that,” he said.

“Going back to my first Test match, I had to go into Cricket Australia. There was a green bag in there – a green old coffin – which had all your shirt, jumpers, hat. I unzipped it when I was back home, it was all there. I whacked (the baggy green) straight on. There was no presentation!”

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