Cricket’s longest-running rivalry begins this week as Australia visit England to play a five test series in which they will hope to retain The Ashes last contested in 2013/14. Here we look at some of the records England and Australia hold on the cricket pitch, and a few they hold off it to determine who is the overall Guinness World Records Ashes winner!
We begin with former England batsman Graham Gooch who is soon to complete 25 years as a record holder, between 26-31 July 1990 he scored 456 runs in the 1st Test against India which remains the most runs scored in a test match.
From Lords to Tanzania our next England record is at 5,752 m (18,871 ft) above sea level in a dormant volcano crater on Mount Kilimanjaro where the highest altitude cricket match took place in 2014. Ashes hero Ashley Giles captained one of the sides while England women’s vice-captain Heather Knight skippered the other.
In 1955 the English earned an impressive record by restricting New Zealand to the lowest test innings score, a paltry 26. In fact 8 of the 10 lowest scores in test match innings were against English bowling attacks!
But it isn’t all good reading for fans of the Three Lions, more recently in December 2013 England pace bowler James Anderson conceded the most runs off a single over in a test match, 28, to George Bailey of Australia. It equaled the feat of the legendary West Indian Brian Lara.
More positives for Australia when it comes to batting, the late great Sir Donald Bradman has a record that some believe will never be broken, the highest batting average in a first-class career an amazing 95.14 for NSW, South Australia and Australia from 1927-49. It is no wonder that Bradman’s cap from the 1948 Ashes series in England when he scored the last of his 29 test centuries is the most expensive cricket memorabilia costing A$425,000 (US$283,000 or £170,000).
In more recent history Australia have twice achieved 16 straight test triumphs, the record for the most consecutive test match wins first achieved from 14 October 1999 to 27 February 2001 and most recently from 26 December 2005 to 2 January 2008.
It would seem that Australia just have the edge over England in the Guinness World Records stakes...but wait! Much like in 1981 at Headingley when the hosts were forced to follow on and looked destined for an innings defeat an all-rounder has stepped forth to save the day. This time it isn’t Sir Ian Botham but the one and only Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff!
We rewind to 2012 to find that Flintoff managed an unprecedented 14 records in a single day all to help Sport Relief. From drinking a hot chocolate to zorbing to catching lemons blindfolded the Lancastrian broke barriers no Australian cricketer could surely dream of.
Howzat Australia! A memorable last gasp win for England?