What have been the most ridiculous Ashes moments of the last 50 years?

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Simple question. When you think of the most ridiculous Ashes moments, what comes to mind?

If you’ve ever dipped into the podcast we do with Dan Liebke, you’ll know that our definition of ‘ridiculous’ is pretty broad. Ridiculously good, ridiculously bad, ridiculously weird – they all count.

So what comes to mind for you? And how many of the moments don’t involve Titan of Ridiculousness, Stuart Broad?

Why do you ask?

We ask because we’ve signed a contract to deliver a Ridiculous Ashes book (along with Dan). It’ll be out just prior to the 2025/26 Ashes. All we have to do before then is write the thing.

We’d obviously like the book to be full of great moments and being as our memory can’t reliably recall much about even the last Ashes, we figured it might be wise to defer to the wisdom of the crowd on this one.

So let us know. What have been the most ridiculous Ashes moments of the last 50 years?

Leave a comment below. Email us. Email us again when we haven’t responded, asking whether you perhaps ended up in our junk mail. Leave a comment here when we still haven’t responded, politely pointing out that we really should check our junk mail more often.

De-fly the ointment

All great and fun and wonderful, but if there’s a small fly in the ointment here, it’s that this book currently only has an Australian publisher. The very, very fine folk at Affirm Press will deliver the book Down Under. This is incredibly decent of them, but if you’re in the UK and you want a copy (and we’re guessing that’s possible if you read this website) then as things currently stand, you’d have to pay one arm and one leg, possibly also your pancreas, to get a copy shipped over.

In an ideal world, we would obviously like our Ashes-themed book to be available (and affordable) in both Australia and the UK. Call us simpletons, but it just feels to us like those would be the major markets.

So a secondary appeal: If you know (or ideally are) a publisher, please can we have contact details so we can explain why claiming the UK rights for an Ashes book that is already being written would be a wise and financially rewarding decision.

And if you don’t know (and aren’t) a publisher, please will you pass this appeal on to someone who you feel is fractionally more likely to know such a person. Maybe also spread the word on social media or take up Dan’s suggestion that you “write to your local duke” (he isn’t au fait with the political system over here).

Thanks in advance on both counts (the making of suggestions and the finding of a UK publisher).


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. It’s hard to look past Ray Bright’s crab-like run-up from 1981. Highly ridiculous.

    I hope the book has pictures. And QR codes which direct the reader to online GIFs. And scratch-and-sniff technology, so we can fully experience the power of Botham’s armpits.

    1. Be careful what you wish for. It starts with the armpits, but before you know it, more infamous Botham body parts are making an appearance. We should resist anything that might open the door to such things.

  2. If I have to order to Australian version of the book, will all the words be upside down, or will it just be the English version of the book with ‘Elite’ added in front of every noun?

    I’ve sort of already made my views clear in the medium of song, but for the record…

    2005 was ridiculous from start to finish (and beyond the finish, all the way to the open top bus), but that Stokes innings at Headingley 2019 (including all the contributions from Lyon, Leach re-living his innings afterwards on the pitch, etc) is possibly the standout post-2000 moment (slightly edging out Cardiff 2009 although the cumulative impact of Broad in the 2010s and 2020s would take the overall crown).

    The ‘Ball of the Century’ is a strong contender for biggest moment of the 1990s but there should be some sort of Lifetime Achievement award for the ‘commitment to the bit’ from England’s batting lineup with their collapses.

    I think the podcast covered pretty much all there is to cover from 1981, to be honest.

    There should be something about the ridiculousness of spending all that time on a boat going over for the tour in the older days of the Ashes though. How many days of Donald Bradman’s life were spent on a ship? Imagine if Shame Warne had been forced to do that, would he have just spent the whole journey over playing Crazy Taxi or Sega Rally in the onboard arcade, or would he have spent a solid week in the bar?

    1. Langer would have loved a sea voyage though, if he rated the First Mate he could declare the vessel an Elite Mate Ship

      1. This is really – well, there’s no other word for it – elite feedback from start to finish.

        We’d have to say our favourite element is your Suno username – a reference that in our opinion transcends even the song.

        We should emphasise to other readers that nominations need not be made in the medium of AI-generated bouncy, rhythmic, psychedelic indie. Plain old words is fine.

  3. I am not a podcast-listener so I’m not sure whether you’ve covered 2001, but I’d like to draw your attention to the many wonderful moments in the First Test of that series: Andy Caddick coming in at number 11 and tonking 49 off 40 balls; the pick of England’s bowlers being, by quite some distance, Mark Butcher (despite being taken for 22 off a single over by Gilchrist); the seemingly inevitably disintegration of Nasser’s finger bones; one of the all-time classic England collapses in the second innings. What a way to start a series.

  4. You could do a thing on ridiculously portentous first balls of the ashes eg Slater cutting defreitas for 4 in front of square, harmison hitting Langer on the head, Harmison bowling straight to second slip , etc

  5. Do you really mean 50 years, KC? I have quite clear memories from 1975, but some of those stories/shenanigans kicked off on 1974/75. Boycott’s boycott of Mike Denness as captain falls into this category.

    Denness’s defenestration in the immediate aftermath of the first test is surely ridiculous, as was the selection of David Steele for the second test. Thommo was reputed to have said, “who the hell’s this? Groucho Marx?”, or words to that effect, on seeing Steele’s appearance. I would have described it as more Dad’s Army than Marx Brothers but never mind. The true comedy element of Steeles first appearance was his inability to find his way from the home dressing room to the Long Room without accidentally going one floor further to the basement toilets first. Surely one of the more ridiculous moments in all Ashes history. But despite all that, it was Steele who started the rear-guard that saved the second test for England.

    Then there was the “George Davis is innocent” vandalism at the end of the third (Headingley) test, which, infuriatingly, turned what would have been a rain-affected draw into a vandalism-affected draw. At the start of that test my dad impulse-bought a bucket-shop package holiday, so by the time the vandals were ruining the Headingley pitch we were in Yugoslavia.

    The very fact that there was an Ashes in the antipodes 1974/75 and then again in Blighty 1975 was more than a little ridiculous.

    I have some diary notes on the 1975 Ashes as I was so into it that year. A couple of those notes on the first test of the 1975 series, can be seen (if not read) from the image


    Have I ever mentioned before that I took a hat trick at school the day before the start of the 1975 Ashes? Now THAT story is ridiculous.

    Happy to correspond by e-mail with further thoughts on the dim and distant past if you think that would help you with the book, KC.

  6. The YJB and Carey incident from last year would be one to include… and the subsequent antics by the tailenders after that, by tailenders I mean Broady shouting “in” on each run.

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