As the England team come to Headingley to start the 4th 2009 Test and the 24th Ashes Test on this ground England are looking for an eighth win. Australia boast eight wins to England’s seven, while a further eight matches have been drawn. The ground is part way through a major redevelopment but the playing surface looks grand.
Amazing Feats and Triumphs in Headingley Tests
- It is hard to believe it is 32 years since Geoff Boycott scored his 100th first-class hundred at his home ground in 1977.
- Don Bradman stands tallest among those who have graced the Headingley turf, having scored 963 runs in just four Tests at an average of 192. The 334 he made in 1934 on his first Test appearance at the ground included 309 runs in a day, and he scored another triple century in 1938. Returning in 1948 Don Bradman scored an unbeaten 173 to a final-day pursuit of 404 to help Australia chalk up one of the eight wins.
- Fred Trueman was the hero in 1961 when in one spell he claimed 5-0 on the way to match figures of 11-88. Having bowled Richie Benaud, he consoled (or is it sledged) him in inimitable style saying “Don’t worry, sunshine. It would have knocked over even a half-decent batsman.”
- Imagine Headingley in 1981 with England forced to follow on 290 runs behind and 135 for seven in the second innings and yet contrived to win by 18runs. Ian Botham’s scored an unbeaten 149, and pushed the score up to 420 leaving Australia chasing 130 to win on the last day. Enter Bob Willis with a spell of 8-43 in 15 overs and our tight victory.
The scene is set for another epic battle with our old foes those Yorkshire men in exile the Aussies. The Western Terrace is no more but the support will be there. Let us hope for a great game and an England victory despite the lack of Yorkshire born talent in the England team.
The only weather forecast I have seen is that there will be ‘no change in the changeable weather’ so no draw I hope.
Photo credit Headingley by clumsy_jim (CC BY-NC 2.0)