By Rob Steen;Alastair McLellan
No season exerts a grip at the hearts of English cricket fans really just like the summer season of 1981. For the 1st time in a iteration, the complete nation was once transfixed by way of a try out sequence. What made all of it the extra awesome was once that the fortunes of the nationwide workforce, let alone these of the sport usually and the rustic itself, appeared at rock bottom.During the process an Ashes sequence that shifted from the mundane to the fantastical with breathtaking pace, the 3rd try out at Headingley proved to be the turning-point. Amid list unemployment and the worst outbreak of civil unrest in a century, England, 500-1 opposed to at one degree (odds taken by way of participants of the Australian team), completed the main inconceivable carrying triumph of the 20 th century, mounting a dramatic comeback to overcome Australia by means of 18 runs. The names of Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Mike Brearley duly grew to become ceaselessly entwined with what readers of the Observer lately voted 'Most Memorable wearing Moment'.500-1...
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Additional resources for 500-1. The Miracle of Headingley '81
In the six years prior to the announcement of World Series Cricket in May 1977, England had laboured heavily. Successive Ashes series were lost (the first, in 1974–75, by the length of Oxford Street); twice they were walloped at home by the West Indies; in 1971, India gained their first series win on English soil; had Ken Wadsworth not spilled Geoff Arnold’s third-ball snick at Lord’s in 1973, New Zealand would have bested England for the first time. Packer still targeted a good few Poms (Tony Greig, Dennis Amiss, Bob Woolmer, Derek Underwood, John Snow and Alan Knott; Boycott, Willis and Old declined), but as WSC hastened the spread of professionalism, so the gap between county-reared talent and that emerging from overseas was widening.
Also hanging over him was the claim by Henry Blofeld, the journalist and commentator, that Botham had physically accosted him at Bermuda Airport. He had been reappointed as England captain but strictly on a Test-by-Test, suck-it-and-see basis. Worse yet, form remained distant. In the Championship he scored five and took 1–71 against Hampshire, whereupon six Lancashire scalps at Old Trafford were offset by a Holding-inflicted duck. In the group stages of the Benson & Hedges (B&H) Cup against Essex, Gooch took him apart, 11 overs for 74 being followed by an innings of eight.
Two days later, according to a Daily Telegraph correspondent, “Somerset soon introduced a spanner at the pavilion end”. Dear old Kenny, the maestro of malaprop, would have appreciated that one. Yet behind that mini-revival in the Caribbean lay a tide of unease. Willis’s early departure appeared to have spelled the end of the road for the country’s finest fast bowler since John Snow. Botham’s captaincy, moreover, was felt to be sorely lacking. “I thought I’d performed reasonably well in the first Test,” recalls Chris Old, “but I’d criticised Ian for getting out to Viv [Richards] with a hopeless shot towards the end of a day, with only Emburey, Downton, Dilley and myself to come.
500-1. The Miracle of Headingley '81 by Rob Steen;Alastair McLellan