Ashes in the 80s – 1982/83: Hooliganism and Melbourne thriller

After Sir Ian Botham’s inspirational efforts in 1981, England headed to Australia 18 months later looking to regain the Ashes. Could they do it?

In Ashes in the 80s, we bring you the inside stories on the great Ashes tussles of the decade from the players right in the thick of the action.

With no live cricket at present due to the coronavirus, we are looking back on the show which first aired during the 2019 summer, and we continue with the 1982/83 tour down under.

Watch in the video at the top of the page.

Episode Two – 1982/83

Complete with crowd hooliganism, missed chances, poor umpiring and one of the most thrilling Test finishes of all time, the 1982/83 Ashes wasn’t for the faint-hearted.

England captain Bob Willis headed to Australia with a squad missing the ‘rebel’ players who went on the unofficial tour to South Africa.

England’s Ashes defence began with a draw in Perth, but one that was overshadowed by shocking displays of hooliganism that stole the headlines – Terry Alderman coming off worst in one incident when struck on the back of the head.

A costly drop in the second Test at Brisbane, which allowed Kepler Wessels to score his maiden Test century on debut, would haunt England and a second defeat swiftly followed at Adelaide after Willis put Australia in on a flat wicket.

But the series sparked back into life with a thrilling finish in the fourth Test at Melbourne.

A 70-run last-wicket stand between Allan Border and No 11 Jeff Thomson took Australia to within a boundary of an extraordinary win to clinch the series.

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