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Customer Review

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ......1, 2, 3, Freddie's coming for you......, 6 Sept. 2009
This review is from: The Ashes 2005: The Greatest Series [DVD] (DVD)
After losing the first Lords test, no one expected England to come out fighting against an impressive Australian side and regain the Ashes so convincingly. Man of the Series Andrew Flintoff reflected on the 2 - 1 scoreline whilst giving an interview months later, and said that the series was closer than people make out. However, even though the final scoreline may suggest that, England played the better cricket session by session in the last four test matches. This proves England's dominance and that the victory was well deserved.

The Edgbaston test is worth the entry fee alone. It will go down as the tensest of matches, and one in which small, key spells of cricket changed the game. Flintoff bowls the greatest over in the greatest test of the one of the greatest test series! England's comprehensive victory at Trent Bridge proved that they were the side in control, and the standards of reverse swing (a key factor in winning the Ashes) from England's elite was a joy to witness. Shane Warne's wonder-ball to Strauss and KP's hat trick of debut fifties and his century at Oval are also worthy of a mention.

The first noticeable factor on the DVD itself is the wonderful transfer. The imagery is sharp and adds to a pleasant viewing experience. There is something different about watching cricket, albeit highlights on DVD than live on TV.

The highlights cut to the action straight away, ensuring that we see the best bits and remain entertained. The commentary is also top-notch. Geoffrey Boycott, Tony Greig, Richie Benaud and the suave Mark Nicholas are the perfect combination.

Mark Nicholas's coverage on the events in and around the series is excellent. It was a good touch to initially reflect on the one day series between the two sides before the main event. There are also newspaper reactions and key player interviews after a days play.

The bonus features on the third disc are not up to scratch. The DVD lacks any post Ashes interviews on player reflections, especially Andrew Flintoff who had a whirlwind series. There is no fan perspective and no reports on how it affected the nation as a whole. There is no behind the scene imagery of any Ashes celebrations either. The Richie Benaud goodbye is the final eight minuites of his live commentary. As someone who was looking forward to this particular part of the bonus features, I find it surprising that there is no tribute to Richie in the form of a documentary, showing his earlier broadcasting and cricketing career.

The bonus features are filled with mere statistics. Although Simon Hughes analysis is good, the extras seem to be rushed and this spoils what is overall a good coverage of the series.

The Ashes urn is dubbed as the greatest prize in test cricket. This statement will presumably raise a few eyebrows from other test playing nations. What is clear is that it's the greatest prize for any English or Australian cricketer, and other nations will have their own views on what series they deem to be more important for them, than anyone else. However, from a neutrals point of view the Test Championship is the biggest prize and this is followed by the 50 over a side World Cup tournament. Granted that test cricket is more important, but to win a World Cup tournament against potentially every international side, and under such pressure, is daunting as well as challenging.

Nonetheless, the Ashes still remains the only five match test series in world cricket today and has a massive influence on the popularity of test cricket as a whole. 2005 has been one of the greatest test series of all time, and the sheer quality of its contents has also made it into one of the all time greatest events in world sport, and not just cricket.
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