London: English commentators hailed their cricketers’ crushing defeat of Australia on Friday, saying the side’s first Ashes series win Down Under for 24 years heralded the start of a new era.
As a demoralised Australia limped off the field after England scored their third innings win over the home team in the final Sydney Test, joy broke out in papers in England as the scale of their team’s victory dawned on them.
“Shout it from the rooftops. England have a cricket team to be proud of while Australia are about to embark on the sort of soul searching that has been an English prerogative for far
too long,” gloated the Daily Mail.
So emphatic was the tourists’ triumph, that the Sydney Cricket Ground now “stood as a monument to English excellence,” said the paper.
“This humbled, chastened and -- yes -- humiliated nation came to terms with the reality that their era of greatness has finally come to a crushing end while another takes hold.
“The era of English dominance.”
There were scenes of jubilation among the English players and thousands supporters who had travelled with them to watch the match as England wrapped up an innings and 83-run victory early on the last day on Friday.
Victory had been assured when they had Australia seven wickets down on Thursday’s close. It was England’s first series victory Down Under since Mike Gatting’s team beat Australia 2-1 in 1986-87. Ian Botham, former England cricket captain, hailed the side’s performance as “magnificent.”
“I’ve waited a while for this,” he wrote in The Daily Mirror. It has been 24 years since we last won over here and I didn’t think it would take so long to happen again, but it is brilliant to see England win so comprehensively.”
“Australia could be lagging for some time to come now because this is our era,” he said.
Former England cricketer Derek Pringle described the Ashes victory on Australian soil after such a long time as a feat which “suggests that all empires, even ones hard-baked by the Australian sun, tumble given time.”
“The joy after Australia’s 24-year monopoly on their home turf was there for all to see as the team went into a huddle and danced on the grave of Australian dominance,” he wrote in
The Daily Telegraph.
There was few positive comments for the Australians after their total meltdown at the hands of the dominant English, with The Guardian sneering that “it was hard to spare much sympathy for a side who have perished on the sword of hubris.”
Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail blasted the Australians’ performance as “total rubbish.” “As poor as anything we have witnessed on this tour; a capitulation so complete that, not for the first time, by stumps barely a local remained.”
And The Guardian saw a bleak future ahead for the Aussies. “Over the coming months they must test themselves against Sri Lanka, South Africa and India,” said the paper.