There are some differing views on this DVD, from the guys who celebrate the achievements of the English this summer, to the review questioning the validity of this as the “greatest series” ever or from those who like to point out that England have only an 11.1% success rate in the past 18 years. Neither of the latter points I am going to discuss, suffice to say I do believe this is the greatest series I have ever seen and thoroughly recommend this DVD to any cricket fans out there.
The DVD is split into 3 discs with 2 games on each (a heap of extras with the 5th test on the 3rd disc – although you do get the feeling this extras were a bit rushed as they could have been better). This volume of footage feels about right for someone who isn’t looking to watch every ball of the series but instead is looking recall with glee the activity of the summer. It has brilliant commentary from Mark Nicholas who is ably supported by Richie Benauld, Michael Slater, Geoff Boycott et al. The latter coming up with the gem of a line “even a blind man would have given that out”. Priceless.
The cricket on show is simply stunning. Not wishing to belie the hype but this may go down as Freddie’s ashes but lest we forget the performance of Simon Jones, Kevin Pieterson, Marcus Trescothick and a whole host of other top class English players. Lets also not forgot the Aussies in this equation – a friend of mine who attended the 5th day of the Oval test regaled to me a tale of the chant that the crowd directed at Shane Warne, one moment they bowed to his undeniable great achievements during the game (and the series), then pelted him with “Warney’s dropped the ashes”. This really is the spirit in which the game was played and the DVD manages to capture this spirit and passion.
A truly magnificent test series, and a magnificent DVD that captures the action brilliantly.