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Vaughan leaves lasting legacy

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Oliver Brett | 12:52 UK time, Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Generations from now, Michael Vaughan's place in English cricketing history will be defined by the epic, and frenetic 2005 Ashes series.

As four Test matches in succession reached climaxes of searing tension, somewhere - whether on the dressing room balcony or in his customary fielding position at mid-off - Vaughan remained calm, methodically plotting England's sole Test series success against Australia in their last 11 attempts.

And yet Vaughan was much more than the magician who turned Andrew Flintoff into a national hero that summer, the senior role model brave enough to let the then rookie Kevin Pietersen bat with unbridled exuberance, and the mentor who encouraged Simon Jones to produce swinging exocets that defied the laws of physics.

Before the 2005 summer had begun, Vaughan was already an international captain par excellence, having forged a seamless bond with Duncan Fletcher, the coach who had thrust the classically-correct young Yorkshire batsman into the heat of a Johannesburg Test match in 1999.

At the time, Vaughan was 25 - though with captains past and present in Nasser Hussain, Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart in the side he seemed a mere juvenile. But by batting calmly for two hours on a green wicket with Allan Donald at his most ferocious, Vaughan bounced positive vibes back to the pavilion - even as England were routed for 122.

Michael Vaughan batting for England in 2002

Three years later, he was in the middle of a year of stunning productivity as 1,481 runs flowed from his bat - many of them eased through the gap between off-stump and extra-cover in a manner which made people swoon with pleasure, and opposition captains cuss in frustration.

Importantly, England were now winning a good number of Test series - only India and, of course, Australia remained unslain beasts - but when Nasser Hussain gave up the captaincy in 2003, Vaughan had become the obvious, and willing choice as his successor.

Fletcher remained in place and together with Vaughan established a dual leadership which allowed the talented, and mostly young, players under their watch to reach the limits of their potential.

Though Vaughan was no longer scoring centuries with machine-like regularity, it mattered not as England beat West Indies 3-0 on their own soil, and followed up with seven back-to-back Test wins on home soil against New Zealand and West Indies before, the following winter, recording a memorable 2-1 win in South Africa.

The homesickness that would later plague Steve Harmison was not in evidence, and the depression that Marcus Trescothick would later suffer had not risen to the surface.

Meanwhile, behind the headline acts there were occasional star-turns from Vaughan's shaggy-haired Yorkshire team-mate Matthew Hoggard and the oft-maligned spinner Ashley Giles - whose close relationship with Vaughan on tour led to Hussain labelling them "the lovers" in a newspaper column.

Vaughan often spoke in news conferences about the importance of "letting the players express themselves" and it was frequently dismissed as a lame soundbite. But in reality it was an important, central plank of his regime. He knew that if a batsman was riddled with the fear of failure he would not move his feet properly and probably edge to the slips. He knew that if a bowler was scared stiff about bowling wides or no-balls he would lose the ability to swing the ball.

And while Vaughan put the players at ease, smiled for the cameras and lifted the trophies, Fletcher was happy to sit out of the spotlight, hard at work at the 21st century coalface of the laptop screen. He did the science, Vaughan did the art in a perfectly symbiotic relationship - something the hastily constructed and rapidly aborted liaison involving Peter Moores and Kevin Pietersen which followed could never replicate.

Michael Vaughan and son watching a match at Headingley

By now we were wondering just how good a captain Vaughan was. In most people's estimations, he had surpassed the cussed determination of Ray Illingworth, and favourable comparisons between Vaughan and Mike Brearley, the architect of the famous 1981 Ashes success, were being drawn.

But then it all started to go wrong. The post-2005 period was always a potentially dangerous time for England, though few could have predicted the speed of the demise. Vaughan's increasingly regular knee problems led England into a variety of makeshift captaincy appointments and the momentum evaporated.

With Vaughan mostly absent, Fletcher suddenly became isolated and defenceless, and eventually had to go himself. When Vaughan did play, his poor form was picked apart - and the man himself protested too much, frequently claiming a big score "was around the corner" when nothing of the sort emerged.

By the time he did resign the captaincy, towards the end of a series defeat by South Africa on home soil, the slightly tetchy relationship he had developed with the media was forgotten as Vaughan sobbed his way through a news conference in Loughborough.

No longer a one-day player, and with Twenty20 having largely passed him by, Vaughan retained hopes of getting back into the Test side, but it was never to be - and his final Test innings remains his 17 against South Africa last August at Edgbaston.

Having hit four effortless boundaries, he failed to get on top of a cover-drive off Andre Nel and picked out short extra-cover.

It summed up the frustrations of the latter part of Vaughan's career - at a time when he gave his wicket away far too often, including when playing for Yorkshire. It is right now for Ravi Bopara to be given freedom to continue his England career at number three unthreatened by the ex-captain, and that a young Yorkshire batsman gets an extended run at Headingley.

Vaughan seems likely to take a high-profile role in the media, though he will be astute enough to have fingers in other pies, and can spend more time looking after his burgeoning property empire.

But until we know exactly what the future holds for him, and before we switch focus squarely on this summer's Ashes, it is only fair to laud the most successful captain England have had in the modern era.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    A fantastic and fearless captain, and the most aesthetically pleasing batsman I have ever seen. I feel so fortunate I saw him play.

    2005 was THE best seris, and a large part of why it was so great was because of Vaughan's brilliant captaincy. Whenever I think of him the first thing that comes to mind is how uttrly unflappable he looked during the final overs of the 2005 Edgbaston Test when the rest of the country was chewing their fingernails off. And then England won and he leapt on Freddie and tried to pull his ears off!

    So sad he won't feature in this year's Ashes.

    Thanks for the memories, Vaughany, and for the glory you gave England.

  • Comment number 2.

    A role model for any young cricketer and aspiring captain.

    Honoured to have been in Australia and seen first hand Vaughan at his best....

  • Comment number 3.

    Wonderful player, great captain, top bloke. I'll never forget 2005. Loved it when MV was brandishing this tiny little urn like it was the biggest trophy in the world.

  • Comment number 4.

    Michael Vaughan will be remembered as one of the best captains England have ever had, who would have been one of the best batsmen we ever had, if he had never been captain.

    People talk of Ashes 2005, but England were equally brilliant in the series leading up to that against South Africa, West Indies (twice) and New Zealand.

    His batting in the 2002-03 Ashes is the best batting by an Englishmen across a whole series in the last 20 years (although Strauss v South Africa in 04/05 came close).

    Legend.

    http://sportingchameleon.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 5.

    Michael Vaughan, Legend.

    One of the most gracefull (in every way) men to represent England.

  • Comment number 6.

    Nobody since the incomparable Barry Richards could cover drive like MV and that in itself guarantees his place in my memory. As for his captaincy it was as successful and as effortless as that cover driving. Such a shame to see such a graceful player completely lose his form almost overnight.
    I will always wonder why...........

  • Comment number 7.

    While I agree with all the above comments I feel disappointed that Vaughan didn't see his way clear to giving Yorkshire one more season. In the ridiculous era of England players not representing their counties, which he was at the forefront of, he and the other players have lost touch with their counties and almost completely rendered the county game moribund. As a Kent fan in the 70s I frequently saw games with Underwood, Knott, Woolmer and Asif Iqbal. They didn't need the rest and nor did he but he was so obsessed with Team England that the Tykes came a poor second.

  • Comment number 8.

    summerbayexile

    Your sentiments will certainly echo with Hampshire fans who barely get an innings in anger from Pietersen each season. Clearly, the downside of central contracts is that top international players grow increasingly aloof from their counties. Though that's not the only reason - even without the central contracts, the summer is almost completely filled with England fixtures - and that's plain ECB greed.

    Essex have developed some leading Twenty20 players in Bopara, Foster and Napier - but when they lose their three best players to the World Twenty20 how can they be expected to make the Twenty20 quarter-finals?

    I believe Vaughan struggled to "muck in" with the Yorkshire dressing room after 2005 but in any case his form has sadly deserted him as correctly observed by sunnypompey

  • Comment number 9.

    I am almost 25 and I have been watching cricket since about the age of 10. Michael Vaughan presided over the only period that I can remember where you felt confident going in to a match or a series that England were going to win, and during this time they usually did.

    As a batsmen he became the best in the world for a while, in that devestating year in which he plundered those 1,481 runs he became the hottest property in test cricket, and topped the batsmen's rankings. I remember the wonderful 197 & 195 he scored in Australia against what was arguably the best bowling attack of all time. This was made all the more impressive by the standard of the England team at the time, which was quite poor - Vaughan essentially became a one man team, certainly the only player you could rely on to make big scores reguarly at the time.

    The 2005 Ashes victory became the highlight of a very successful captaincy, and although the team faltered slightly towards the end of his reign, and his batting faltered badly during that time, England fans should only have fond memories of his time.

    The best batsmen in world when at the peak of his powers, and always an exceptional captain.

  • Comment number 10.

    I know people will quite rightly focus on the 2005 Ashes Series but he was more than the winning Ashes Captain. He was a motivator on and off the field, getting the balance right between leading by example and encouraging his players to express themselves. Too often Captains are seen as aloof and apart from their team, Vaughan was a great batsman, he could walk the walk and talk the talk. For somebody like me in their late forties it was an unusual experience to turn-up at a test match expecting England to win but under Vaughan that's what you expected.

    It's always sad to see such a rapid decline in a winning sportsman but the DVD's are all there as are the batting records.

  • Comment number 11.

    I fell sad knowing that for many MV will be remembered for his post 2005 era when injury and lack of form hampered him.

    But for me MV will always be remembered for his fantastic driving and his ability to turn a young cricketer into a formidable opponent ie pieterson, jones! I think alot of captains could learn from MV's approach to his players and giving them the freedom to do what they do best!

  • Comment number 12.

    I used to admire VaughKnee a lot during 2003-03; when he was the leading scorer in Tests along with Dravid. But while great players like Dravid, Sachin and Ponting kicked on, Vaughan stuttered his way to mediocrity, and tried to hang on to his captaincy and later, his career.... very shabbily, I might add. This made me one of his fiercest critics - I feel he should've retired from Test cricket after the 2005 Ashes(during which he was England's worst batsman); and tried to regain his batting at his county.

    Instead it all had to end in tears and frustrations; with his County unable to suport his personal aspirations.

    At any rate, it is perhaps fitting that Vaughan ended his career now; rather than struggle even at his County for a year or two.

  • Comment number 13.

    Swamy, he certainly wasn't worse than Bell in 2005.

  • Comment number 14.

    I always enjoyed watching Trescothick and Vaughan open the batting. It was the first time in years that you pretty much expected a century opening stand, if not more.

    It's a shame both of these amazing batsmen had problems which soured their excellent international careers. The difference perhaps is Trescothick is performing an admirable service for his county, and I'm sure he will continue to do so for some years to come. It's amazing what the best hand-eye coordination in county cricket can do for you, even without foot movement!

    As for us Hampshire fans; no, we don't have a player called Pietersen. I'm not sure where you got that information from. I think this is both Pietersen's and the ECB's fault. There are far, far too many England games each summer. A couple of test series' and 1 or 2 ODI's fine, but no more. We don't need bundles of 20/20 nonsense and we don't need tiresome ODI series. Once all the quirky shots and odd bowling styles have been tried and tried again, 20/20 will lose its appeal.

  • Comment number 15.

    As a young batsman who grew up a stones throw from headingley, Vaughan's style, poise, and finesse shaped my batting, and his calm, relaxed way in life lead me to the same.
    He was my idol and my role model, and i feel very priveledged to have been able to witness his batting in my "back yard" at Headingley.
    He never seemed to find success for Yorkshire, and many members that i know will be pleased to see him go, as it was last year, when the members' assembly nearly drove him out to Warwickshire.
    I will never forget his beautiful batting style, his ability to connect with the public and seem a local not a foreigner.
    When I was walking down St Michael's lane, leaving the ground at YCCC late after Yorkshire's defeat to Durham last season my journey was cut short by the traffic lights turning to green, therefore stopping my passage across the road. But up pulled a Jaguar with non other that MPV driving, who slowed to a standstill and waved me across with as much care and attention as though I was his own child.
    Good luck to the man, and in reaction to the above, Bell, Jones, and almost Strauss where far worse than Vaughan in 2005, Vaughan's 166 was not only the highest score of the series, but the saving point of the 3rds test match....shame he got out to simon Katich!

  • Comment number 16.

    12 and 13 - indeed, Vaughan hit a beautiful century on day one of the Old Trafford Test, while Bell ended up with very much inferior statistics in the series. There's no way you can call Vaughan "England's worst batsman" in the 2005 Ashes!

  • Comment number 17.

    The only thing he should feel bad about in his career is not getting that damned 200!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Bell was easily England's worst batsmen in the 2005 Ashes, and Vaughan was probably better than Strauss as well, who didn't have a great series.
    Not having as good a series as Pietersen and Trescothick isn't really much of a disgrace.

  • Comment number 19.

    Michael Vaughan was a pleasure to watch and I always thought he epitomised the archetypal Englishman - graceful, competitive, slightly reserved and highly intelligent. Cheers for a great number of memories and giving us something to brag to the Aussies about!

  • Comment number 20.

    Vaughan was such an elegant batsman particularly driving that he was a joy to watch. But that's the trouble with gifted elegance, it fades away too fast. Like many others I really would have hoped he'd have stayed around in the county scene for several more seasons. You don't lose class over night and all this is doing is taking away his potential impact on young players coming through where his counsel and experience not to forget his technique could have had great benefit. He would have been good to watch as well. I would travel to watch him bat. Not sure I'd do that for many others though. I don't expect we'll see anyone like Jack Hobbs playing until 50 again but had hoped we'd have seen more like Graeme Hick playing into their 40's.

  • Comment number 21.

    Since 2005, you really have to take into account his knee injuries. That he tried to continue is no surprise, as is the decision to pick him.

    Great captain and at his best a graceful and succesfull batsman.

    Well done Vaughany - get on that Media gravy train! (well deserved IMHO)

  • Comment number 22.

    Leaving aside matters of opinion it's rather odd that given England never went beyond the foothills of becoming world no 1 and seemed to accept what Vaughan called a lucky triumph as the height of their ambition we should be so fulsome. We were nowhere near no 1 on reflection. We took the first step and then went immediately backwards with a side who gave up on fitness and conditioning.

    I am 44 and England have probably not been no 1 since early in my lifetime - early 70s maybe although South Africans could argue but it would be mute as they could not play. He won lots of matches but in the end it was more false dawn and it's hard to argue he was as good a captain as Illingworth.

    You can make a case his knee problems saved his won loss record which seems to be the main basis for any claim - let's be honest best English captain could even be considered damning someone with faint praise. I think the hard yards of his first few years as captain were done by Fletcher and Hussain and it rather descended into a horrific self indulgent boys club.

    Quite how we'd deal with a Taylor or Ponting would be interesting.

  • Comment number 23.

    I feel a mixture of sadness and relief following the confirmation of Michael Vaughan's retirement. Little has gone right for him since the start of 2008. After a poor series in New Zealand he came good in the home series against New Zealand last summer before failing spectacularly in the following series against South Africa, culminating in his tearful resignation of the captaincy after defeat in the third Test had cost England the series.

    I desperately clung to the hope that he could go back to county cricket with Yorkshire and earn a place as a specialist batsman in the England squad to tour India and the West Indies in the winter, but sadly it wasn't to be. Who knows how things would have worked out had Pietersen got his wish for Vaughan to be in the squad to tour the West Indies. With the benefit of hindsight it looks like Pietersen was wrong about Vaughan and that had he been selected he would have been a spectacular failure, but I would like to think that he would have risen to the occasion and made a triumphant return to Test cricket.

    Having missed out on selection for the West Indies series Vaughan had one final opportunity at the start of this season to fight his way back into Test cricket, but sadly it wasn't to be. How ironic that he saved his two highest first class scores of the season for what turned out to be his last two first class innings, 39 against Sussex and 43 against Worcestershire. Not great scores, but not bad scores either. It looked like he was slowly getting back into form, but sadly it was too little too late.

    I am a big Vaughan fan, but if I am brutally honest I think a return to Test cricket in the Ashes would have been a spectacular failure, as much as I would like to think it would have been a success. Perhaps with the benefit of hindsight he should have retired after the home series against New Zealand last summer, but having done reasonably well in that series it is understandable that he carried on. Sadly it was his spectacular failure in the following series against South Africa that ended his international career. Had he played in the Ashes he probably would have tarnished his reputation even further. At least he can retire safe in the knowledge that he never had a bad Ashes series. He was outstanding with the bat in Australia in 2002/2003 and despite not being quite so prolific with the bat in 2005 he did at least captain England to victory in arguably the most exciting Test series of all time.

    Rather than dwell on his poor form of 2008 and 2009 I will cherish the memories of his spectacular batting against Sri Lanka, India and Australia in 2002/2003 when he scored a remarkable seven hundreds in twelve Tests, culminating in him being ranked the number one batsman in the world at the end of 2002. And of course I will never forget the role he played in leading England to Ashes glory in 2005.

    I wish him all the best for the future. Thanks for the memories Michael.

  • Comment number 24.

    A loss to England and to the sport, but I would be very suprised if he doesnt turn up on either TMS or skys coverage this summer.

    Fondest moment.....Being at Trent Bridge, England v. India in 2003(I think). And with the match seemingly heading to a draw. From nowhere he found a bit of spin and bowled the mighty Tendulkar! The crowd went wild as did Vaughan! It still ended in a draw though :(

  • Comment number 25.

    the cover drive, the pull shot, a chin-stroke under the sun hat at mid-off, the scratch of the head as he trampled off after another late career failure, the wobbling from leg to leg geekily whilst being interviewed - then the tears as he quit. i think we will remember them all as characteristics of the man who pulled england up to their finest hour in the last 25 years - thanks m.p.v.

  • Comment number 26.

    "But then it all started to go wrong. The post-2005 period was always a potentially dangerous time for England, though few could have predicted the speed of the demise. Vaughan's increasingly regular knee problems led England into a variety of makeshift captaincy appointments and the momentum evaporated.

    With Vaughan mostly absent, Fletcher suddenly became isolated and defenceless, and eventually had to go himself. When Vaughan did play, his poor form was picked apart - and the man himself protested too much, frequently claiming a big score "was around the corner" when nothing of the sort emerged."



    I think you're missing out one major element, and that is the loss of Troy Cooley. That was the first indicator to me of any major division between the ECB and the England team management themselves, and Cooley was lost because the ECB were cheapskates and wouldn't give him a two-year contract. Ever since then, there was increasing antipathy between management and ECB. Fletcher was criticised in 2006-07 in Australia and left. Moores came in as the ECB's golden child and we all know how that worked out. The ludicrous decision to play Darren Pattinson has never really been fully explained (can't wait for that chapter in the Vaughan autobiography!). English cricket went from fairly unified in 2005 to being all ove rthe shot by the time KP and Moores stood down.

    The 2005 Ashes was one of the few times in modern English cricket where both captain, management and administration were, if not fully together in unison, were at least so focused on being successful on the field that any off-field rows were kept fairly low-key. No side can be a success on the pitch if there are massive boardroom and admin squabbles (see the PCB and WICB now). It is no coincidence that India have been very successful the last few years at a time when the BCCI have really improved and become a more professional body themselves.

    Vaughan is the best England captain in my lifetime and I include Brearley in that timespan. Vaughan was rare in that he was a top order batsman captain who really knew how to handle bowlers. A true great of English cricket whose worth goes way beyond mere accumulation of runs.

  • Comment number 27.

    I can always rely on you, AndyP, for a spot of - generally constructive - criticism. The Troy Cooley debacle was nothing to do with Vaughan, it has to be said. Indeed, I believe the players were really keen on him to stay. However the ECB's negotiations over his new contract had all the subtlety of a porcupine trampling on a waterbed. I take your point, though, that the incident is relevant when charting the downward spiral of English cricket post-2005.

  • Comment number 28.

    Very, very good point just made there.

    The failure make successful strides forward following on from the Ashes cold possibly be pinpointed back to the whole Cooley affair.

    I thought briefly that perhaps the celebrations were over the top, but in hindight the bus tour which now looks a bit embarrassing, would not have done so if we had pushed on.

    We didnt capitalise on our success, starting with Cooley, followed on with keeping the Cricket on Sky and making it available to fewer people and the Stanford debacle. I dont believe they had the wellbeing of the sport when they made all those decisions. Purely financial decisions and in the longer term are, ironically, proving costly.





    The MBEs out of this as that was entirely out of the ECB's hands... and who are we to strip Fred of his freedom to walk his sheep through the Burnley streets or whatever it was.

  • Comment number 29.

    He was a gentleman, a great captain and an excellent player before the injuries restricted him.

    Thank you for what you've contributed to the game, Michael, and best wishes in your future endeavours.

  • Comment number 30.

    The word legend is often over-used in sport, but Michael Vaughan lives up to its very meaning. A class act with or without a bat in his hand, he inspired greatness in an England side that at last really believed they could be the best in the world. Just as Australia are struggling to fill the hugely vacant roles left by their legends, so will we.
    Thank you Michael Vaughan for the beautiful off drive, the pensive stare from mid-off or the revitalising clap of the hands as England turn the screw on another batting pair. A legend!

  • Comment number 31.

    All I have to say is, "thanks Vaughny for 2005". Never to be forgotten.

  • Comment number 32.

    Micky V what a legend. Get rid of Moxon and get him in charge of Yorkshire CCC ASAP.

  • Comment number 33.

    Oliver, I'm usually fairly constructive. I don't even make Essex jokes!

    The thing with the loss of Cooley is that it was the first time when the ECB hierarchy seemed to be at odds with the England management and the team itself. It felt like the top brass were trying to assert their control again. We saw that in the Ashes in 2006-07. Fletcher's selections were questioned and it was decided to never let a coach have those same powers overseas again. At the time, many people thought that was good, mostly as Fletcher did make a mistake by picking Giles ahead of Panesar, but over time we've seen the top brass taking more and more control. The Pattinson selection, the decision to go with the Stanford money, an awful lot of the Moores-KP saga... all rather messy.

    You're right in saying the Cooley departure was nothing to do with Vaughan. I'd say that the English slide was more down to fiddling at the highest level than Vaughan's injury problems and other player injuries. I still think getting rid of Fletcher was a huge mistake. The ECB got their precious little coaching poster boy in Moores in place and it created difficulties. When Vaughan came back and took the captaincy mantle again, it was a vastly different regime to that of Fletcher. Vaughan came back with people questioning his batting so he had that pressure. I suspect he also saw the cracks in the playing team and the coaching team and that created an additional pressure. To have that going on and to then have to deal with the still incredible selection of Pattinson must have been a huge weight on his back and it all became too much. Seeing the outpouring of emotion at his resignation speech showed that. Hearing him talk about how he didn't recognise himself was a huge admission. The pressure of being an internaitonal cricketer was summed up by both that resignation speech and Marcus Trescothick speaking so eloquently on his stress-related illness.

    It was well known that many within the FA were happy when Alf Ramsey was sacked and there were a number of grudges going around. One has to wonder if it was the same within ECB ranks when Fletcher got sacked.

  • Comment number 34.

    Vaughan thanks for the memories, class player in Australia!
    Brilliant captain

  • Comment number 35.

    Even as a captain he was not that flash. All keep talking of the Ashes 2005 - it was not as if that England walloped Australia.

    The two tests they won, they won by 1 run and 3 wickets - i.e. if the luck of the draw had gone Australia's way, it could easily have been 5- 0 to Aus.

    The one test they lost, they were absolutely hammered by Aus, even after dismissing Aus for 191 in the first innings ! So what was special of his captaincy then ?? Beggars me !

    As for a batsmen, you are talking of two good test series ( Ashes 02/03 and the previous one against India), and then it's whole lots of ' what ifs' innings. His test avg of 41 proves it. He was a nobody in ODI's - so a good batsman , he certainly isn't.

    But of course he is highly regarded because he got back the urn after 15 years !!!! It kind of shows how much little success the England team needs to have to make someone a hero.

  • Comment number 36.

    Let's not exaggerate Mr Brett, MPV did not 'sob his way through a news conference at Loughborough' - he wiped away a few tears and regained his composure.

    The ECB management must bear a considerable part of the blame for failing to capitalise on 2005 - far too much cricket to exploit the 'brand' (Giles Clarke's term) the appalling Stanford affair, the appointment of a coach with no international experience, and the appointment of two captains who were clearly not up to the job (Flintoff and Pietersen). Vaughan said as the corks were popping in the dressing room at the Oval in 2005, that this was just a beginning. If only people in authority had listened to what he said ...

  • Comment number 37.

    Several contributors have made reference to the central contracts system, quite rightly pointing out that international cricket gets the lions share of the ECB's attention. It does seem that the cricket pyramid has been turned rather sharply on its head, with the grass roots game losing out due to the sheer volume of international games.
    At the time, MV himself, warmly enthused about the 05 Ashes mobilising interest in the game, especially amongst the younger age groups; in order that this is sustainable interest and in the best interests of cricket as a whole, in this country, it should be remembered a pyramid is best balanced with its base on the ground.

  • Comment number 38.

    tifosiguy, thats just not fair. Taking the whole of Vaughan's captaincy, from mid 2003 through the 2005 Ashes, England had one hell of a purple patch, coming back to draw a series against South Africa, winning a series in the West Indies for the first time in 30 years, winning every home test in 2004, and winning a series in South Africa.

    And lets face it the fact that England could come through close matches against Australia and win hadn't happened in 24 years. It wasn't the margin of the wins that mattered it was the fact of the wins. The paludits for Vaughan's captaincy SHOULD take into account his complete reign, not just the snapshot of 2005. But that doesn't mean 2005 wasn't an important and impressive achievement.

  • Comment number 39.

    How many did Vaughan win on the Subcontinent? Bangladesh doesn't count...

  • Comment number 40.

    Tifosiguy:

    Saintlymark outlines it perfectly. Vaughan's captaincy wasn't one where he had the very best players out. England were never as strong as Australia. As good as Harmison was for a period when he was number 1, as good as Flintof was in 2005, as good as Vaughan was with the bat for a period, England as a whole could never call upon masters of the game like Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath because they didn't have players of that ability to call on. You could say that KP and for a time Flintoff were the only two players who might get into any other nation's starting XI. Australia had at least the three I've mentioned plus Hayden and Ponting making a strong case for inclusion.

    Despite all of this, Vaughan and Fletcher got players performing. Paul Collingwood is a great case in point. Rod Marsh scoffed at Collie batting at 4. One Ashes double century later, he had to change his mind. Matt Hoggard became an essential part of the side. Ashley Giles did likewise. Throw in some great talent like Strauss and Trescothick plus Flintoff alongside and you had a team who really did hold up their hand when it mattered and play some great cricket. The series we won in South Africa was to my mind at least as impressive as winning the Ashes in 2005.

    England really did punch well above their weight under Vaughan. What started under Nasser was taken to the next level by Vaughan.

  • Comment number 41.

    So if a player quits part way through a central contract does the ECB get their money back from the player or the county? My understanding is that the central contract frees the player up from the toil of county cricket to concentrate on performing for England.

    If Vaughan is now free to concentrate on property development or other interests surely it's wrong for the ECB to continue paying his central contract?

  • Comment number 42.

    It was a great joy and pleasure to watch Vaughan bat at the height of his form. Give me an hour of MV batting over KP any day!!

  • Comment number 43.

    Whilst appreciating the generous comments made by many posters in the forum, I do suggest that all the ravings over Vaughan being a supreme captain are just a tad too much. There are some of us, and yes I am one of them, who can remember two more complete captains, PBH May and the incomparable Mike Brearley. In the case of Mike I would certainly support any argument that says he did not match Vaughan as a batsman, but in terms of man management and tactical skills he was unparalleled. He got the best out of Beefy and hell, that was difficult!!
    HIs batting was a pleasure to watch for the purist but in this day and age he was not as well suited as say KP to the current demands. With the way cricket is going at present he unfortunately does not fir the game.
    I do trust that he can find a solid future in the media as he has much to offer,but please not on TMS as his character is totally unsuited. Words of wisdom in the written form would suit best.
    Whilst writing I note that one person states he had the best cover drive since the great Barry Richards. Sorry but he could not reach the standards of Gordon Greenidge of indeed Robin Smith. Yes I am a Hants. supporter, but these three batsmen were unparalleled in the cover area.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm pretty sure the 2005 win was England's sole series win against Australia in the last ten attempts, not eleven... unless Oliver Brett has already written off our chances this year!

    As for Vaughan, just great to watch him bat. Any partnership with him and Trescothick in full flow was always a pleasure. Under Vaughan, for the first time that I can remember as an England fan, the team consisted of 11 players all worth watching - not only were his team winners, they were hugely entertaining as well.

  • Comment number 45.

    While I agree with all the above comments I feel disappointed that Vaughan didn't see his way clear to giving Yorkshire one more season.

    -------

    Nah. Clearly Vaughan was giving all he could to try and make the Ashes series, missing out would have been a massive blow to him, I'm not surprised if he would find it difficult to motivate himself in the same way again and if that is the case then he is better off stepping asie and letting someone with more hunger come into the Yorkshire side.

    The attempt to get in the Ashes squad was his last hurragh as a player, but I hope that he now takes a little time off from the game before returning to it as a coach, he would make an excellent tactician and batting technical coach working under a principle and is surely a favourite to end up coachign England at some point.

  • Comment number 46.

    So if a player quits part way through a central contract does the ECB get their money back from the player or the county? My understanding is that the central contract frees the player up from the toil of county cricket to concentrate on performing for England.

    If Vaughan is now free to concentrate on property development or other interests surely it's wrong for the ECB to continue paying his central contract?

    --------

    They stop paying it obviously, just like if you quit your job.

  • Comment number 47.

    Oliver - I am curious as to what the lasting legacy is that Vaughan is leaving, to paraphrase your headline. As far as I can see, he was a batsman capable of being exceptional who finished with a Test average of 41 (and, lest we forget, averaged in the mid 30s after that Australia series), and a captain who scaled giddy heights in 2004-5 before playing out a quite curious role on the peripheries of the return Ashes in 2006-7, remaining captain in absentia for a year which led to mass confusion, and never quite regaining control of the team but stuttering on regardless until his retirement. Throw in the Pietersen/Moores debate of January, in which Vaughan is said to have played a role (if you're feeling generous, simply that his non-selection was the trigger for the captain and coach's falling out, if you're not feeling so generous towards Vaughan, that he was the source of the leak), and you have someone who has actually undone a great deal of what would have been a fine legacy.

    Incidentally, with regards to posts 12/13 and 16, discussing Vaughan's batting in the Ashes 2005 - yes, he did make a century that was at times imperious at Old Trafford, but he was extremely fortunate that Gilchrist dropped the simplest of chances from McGrath when Vaughan had only scored 41, and the next ball he fell victim to the "Vaughan square-up" and was clean bowled, only for it to be by the smallest of margins a no-ball. It was hardly a chanceless knock, even if he played some lovely shots.

  • Comment number 48.

    PS - and most importantly, the legacy of 2005 on the England team - four years of extraordinary mediocrity - a slide from 2nd to 6th in the Test rankings, a 5-0 defeat in Australia, 51 all out in Jamaica, 81 all out in Galle, 5 different Test captains (Vaughan included), at least 6 changes to the Test wicketkeeper... need I go on?

    It was a wonderful victory, but it doesn't seem to have changed the fortunes of English cricket so much as it marked the culminating achievement of a great XI.

  • Comment number 49.

    44 - you're right, for some reason I was counting from (and including) 86-87, which of course we won. As my three-year-old son would say "silly me", though fortunately, unlike MV's three-year-old, he hasn't managed to knock my off-stump out yet.

  • Comment number 50.

    well he's gone now but as a cricket fan i am sad about his retirement he must have given a chance in Ashes so he would have been able to end his career on high nod...but he is past now...he was an excellent servant to his nation...we will be missed & his extra cover drives as well.
    A.Sattar
    Lahore.

  • Comment number 51.

    well he's gone now but as a cricket fan i am sad about his retirement he must have given a chance in Ashes so he would have been able to end his career on high nod...but he is past now...he was an excellent servant to his nation...HE* will be missed & his extra cover drives as well.
    A.Sattar
    Lahore.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yes, Vaughan had a big influence on England's rise to 2nd in the world and culminating in the Ashes win in 85' but it's been downhill since. He ruined whatever chance England had of winning the last World Cup in the W Indies, his one day record and always been poor and he wasn't fit and no way in form, despite batting well in the nets.

    The Ashes win was very close, excepting the Aussies walkover in the first test the other's could have gone either way. The fact they didn't was certainly influenced by Vaughan's captaincy, as the Aussies in Warne and Mcgrath had the better players. Only KP, Trescothick (for a brief period) and Flintoff (again a brief period) would have been in the Aussies line up.

    Sadly poster 12 hit the nail on the head, Vaughan's form had been in continual decline since the 2002/3 high. He would never reach the same heights again or be good enough for a world 11.

    It's difficult to compare Captains, so much depends on what resources they have to work with. Ponting's record is great, but he's far from a great captain (though his actual batting stats have been at least maintained and probably improved). On the hand someone like NZ's Fleming with a moderate overall record made the very best of limited resources.

  • Comment number 53.

    Vaughan's captaincy record speaks for itself, I guess. But in addition to being the most successful ever England captain, I admired the WAY he captained. He was fearless and imaginative. No player or team ever intimidated him.

  • Comment number 54.

    stinpake - I think you'll find very few batsmen in the history of cricket have ever scored a chanceless hundred. Yes, Vaughan was dropped and bowled by a no ball in successive deliveries when on 41 in the Old Trafford Test in the 2005 Ashes series. There hasn't been a cricketer in the history of the game who hasn't had their fair share of both good fortune and misfortune. Every day batsmen are given out when they are not out or not out when they are out. And dropped catches are part and parcel of the game. Vaughan had two enormous slices of good fortune when on 41 that day at Old Trafford in 2005. Fortunately for himself and for England he made the most of it.

  • Comment number 55.

    A quite brilliant captain, a great batsman at his peak, a decent batsman overall.

    I think its harsh to judge him for so many of the post-'05 problems that occured when he was injured, and he can't be blamed for the Pietersen-Moores affair, that was the ECB.

  • Comment number 56.

    Only in England did you believe the ridiculous hype that followed the 2005 Summer....I recall ridiculous comments such as "We are now the best team in the World". This was on the basis of one Summer...I recall saying to a colleauge one good summer does not a great team make. England in reality won as McGrath was out injured...not that injuries should be used to excuse Australia's defeat. More helpfully put it in context. The fact is the reason Australia were the best was even in their rare defeats they always came back. England's team were never going to do that.
    I was bored endlessly about 7 successive victories...over those mighty powers New Zealand and West Indies.
    As for Vaughn being aesthetically the most pleasing batsmen ever? Is that a joke? I can only comment on my era...and if he is more pleasing to the eye the the little master (Tendulkar for all you 2005 come latelys) then I am ready to die watching Tendulkar from heaven. It is this level of stupidity that attached itself to the 2005 victory. To the extent that it almost went unheard when Ricky Ponting said, "I know one thing, It won't take us 18 years to win it back". And they hammered your team.....It further put 2005 into context. It was humiliation.

    Now I will accept that England have lost Jones, lost Trescothick (although does he really count?) and Harmison has become a joke....but that's the point...many of England's players were people who had purple patches...including Michael Vaughn....he has never really got back his form which again puts him into perspective compared to the Tendulkars/Pontings/Laras and even the Dravids Haydens and Gangulys. He is not on their level.

    England had a one off summer and that is it...it says everything that you still bore us about this. And whilst it is true to say it was an amazing series...it does not even compete with the India v Australia 2001 series...That was two teams fully fit...so McGrath played throughout....The Australians were led by Waugh....now that really was an incredible series.

  • Comment number 57.

    ScenicJoker

    You're having a laugh, aren't you?

    McGrath missed only two Tests during that summer whilst Simon Jones, England's best bowler, missed one and a half. Following their (admittedly heavy) defeat at Lords, England dominated the next 4 tests: They killed the aussies at edgbaston, where the margin was only so close because of a freak performance by Australia's lower order and won fairly comfortably at Trent Bridge. At Old Trafford, England were the only team with a chance of winning and missed out by a single wicket, due in part to a fantastic knock by Ponting and in part because they failed to run out McGrath when the numpty was standing three feet out of his crease in the final over. Even at the Oval, where England played for a draw, they were ultimately closer to winning than the Aussies were.

    The 2005 Ashes had far more drama than the 2001 Australia v India series. Even the most one-eyed aussie fan would admit that.

  • Comment number 58.

    To 56,

    I'm speaking as an England fan. The Ashes are THE best series for me. And 2005 is the ONLY time I have ever seen England win the Ashes. Of COURSE I'm going to shout about it! And I truly do believe England were a phenomenal team then - full of talent, confidence and personality. And the way the public took cricket to their hearts was incredible. Say what you like - that summer was the BEST summer of cricket I have ever experienced.

  • Comment number 59.

    Exaclty GHBRich, McGrath missed two matches.....and I am certain that they are the two you won? That proves my point....doesn't it?
    And If you really knew about cricket you would realise your comment about the 2001 series is nonsense....Laxman's 281....India having to turn a match around on day 3...The Aussies at their most powerful best...a world record number of wins brought to an end...whereas in 2005 that was not the case?
    The Aussie batting line up had the Waugh brothers, Hayden Ponting and is widely regarded as their strongest team ever...certainly stronger then the 05 team simply because of the Waugh brothers. Aussie fans would not even care because firstly they lost both series and secondly they lost both by a whisker. The difference is after India won they did not go around proclaiming themselves to be the best team in the world and then add to it by being thrashed 5-0. And to say I enjoyed seeing the English brought so embarrasingly crushingly down to earth would be an understatement.
    That is my point...English fans only know about the Ashes....That's why your opinions are so poor. And as if to prove it read Angel Alpert's comment. It's so particularly absurd because what are you saying...during hte 80's when the West Indies battered everybody it was still more satisfying to beat Australia? Most teams in the world want to beat the best...Clearly regardless of whether Australia are the best or not all that seems to matter to England fans is the ASHES. I mean to be fair I guess if you only win it once every 20 years or so no wander that's why you are so one eyed...mind you England tend to only win everything once every so and so....including football....no doubt you will bore me about 1966 and two world wars again!

  • Comment number 60.

    Any by the way, as for freak performance by the lower order...again it shows how little you watch internation cricket. Australia's lower order have rescued the team many times over the years....either pushing the score along or at leasting getting close to targets..That again was why they were so good...Gillespie, Warne, et al were renowned for doing that.

    The truth is the only freakish performance was from England...through the series...proof is the fact you have not even come close since.

  • Comment number 61.

    English fans only know about the Ashes....That's why your opinions are so poor. And as if to prove it read Angel Alpert's comment. It's so particularly absurd because what are you saying...during hte 80's when the West Indies battered everybody it was still more satisfying to beat Australia? Most teams in the world want to beat the best...Clearly regardless of whether Australia are the best or not all that seems to matter to England fans is the ASHES.

    Did I say the Ashes were the ONLY cricket I cared about? No. They are the series I look forward to the most, yes, because of the history, the rivalry, the excitement etc. But I look forward to ANY series England play in, and many that they do not.

    And I also said 2005 was the first time I had seen England win the Ashes, which should suggest to you I did not watch any cricket in the '80s.

    And what is this carp about McGrath??? One-man team? No, I don't think so. EVERY TIME England tour Australia the team is riddled with injuries - we NEVER play a full-strength side out there. But are we allowed to complain about this? :-)

  • Comment number 62.


    Happy days. Still can't believe I won't be watching it on Channel 4 this time round, they contributed big time (the WG Grave ads/ Bombadier breaks/Richie Benaud retiring/ Nicholas in form and some great graphics)

  • Comment number 63.

    Do you seriously believe that England were as Good as Australia? Forget about a one off summer, do you honestly believe that if both teams were fully fit that England were Australia's equal? Of course not a one man team but clearly Warne and McGrath were so exceptional that it is no coincidence since Mcgrath and Warne have disappeared nobody fears them as much.

    England have never had a player who CONSISTENTLY IS THEIR EQUAL. Can you people not see this?

    This is not about injuries...England always claim they do not mention this, but yes you do..in that "we can't complain about it". The point is perhaps best proven at your inequality by the fact that when you played in Australia you lost 5-0. It was not even close. Does that not tell you that perhaps 05 was a one off as opposed to a trend. Furthermore since then you achieved nothing. Can you not see that effectively what happened in 05 was ultimately meaningless to anybody outside this Country?

  • Comment number 64.

    Scenicjoker

    I think you need to get a little perspective.

    According to you, England's series victory in 2005 was worth nothing because McGrath was injured for 2 out of 5 games, whilst Australia's victory in 2006/7 was worth everything despite the fact that England were without Trescothick, Vaughan and Jones for the ENTIRE SERIES.

    Face it, in 2005, you had the two best teams in the world playing their best cricket and England prevailed. I would not argue that England were the best team in the world before or after that series, but during that summer they were better than Australia. FACT.

    Only someone with as much sour grapes as you could argue with that.

    Oh and "Aussie fans would not even care because firstly they lost both series and secondly they lost both by a whisker. The difference is after India won they did not go around proclaiming themselves to be the best team in the world and then add to it by being thrashed 5-0."

    The reason you would argue that the India series was better is that you cannot stand being beaten by the English! The India series was good, but only that single test had anything like the drama that at least 3 of the 5 2005 Ashes tests had, and even that was nothing like Egbaston.

    BTW - that Nathan Hauritz looks like quite a player...

  • Comment number 65.

    I first came across Michael as a 14 year old in a representative game contructing a superb 50 with that same calm self belief we saw in the Test match arena. As captain in the summer of 2005, bringing the sustained best out of an eclectic bunch including Harmison, Flintoff, Peterson and Trescothick was leadership of the highest order.

    Thank you Michael

  • Comment number 66.

    Face it, in 2005, you had the two best teams in the world playing their best cricket and England prevailed. I would not argue that England were the best team in the world before or after that series, but during that summer they were better than Australia. FACT.

    What he said ^^^^

    I was going to say something similar, but this is much more eloquebnt than I could have managed.

  • Comment number 67.

    Michael Vaughan has been excellent for english cricket both as player and captain. As a player he reached hights that perhaps only Pieterson, Gower and possibly Gooch have managed over the last 30-40 years. In form, he was simply sublime. The time is right I have to say on the international front because I think he has lost the mental battle which has been a barrier in him scoring the runs he would have required to get back into contention.

    As a captain, I think we was probably our best, and that includes Brearley, Illingworth, Hussain etc, not just because of the 2005 ashes victory but the run of success immediately before and the nature in which he carried out the role. Vaughan is intelligent, he challenged traditional thinking and appeared to be very very popular amongst his players. He was also excellent with the media and wouldn't over egg the "look for positives" as recent captains have done following failure, he simply told it pretty much as it was. I also feel that he has been a strong presence in the dressing room, not accepting mediocrity but giving his players license to express themselves.

    I feel a sense that the agony of the last few years is over, Vaughan has perhaps had to swallow his pride following his loss of the consistency required to play at international level, but he and his family should be very very proud, as he will occupy a place near the top of England cricketers of his generation - some achievement mate, I wish him all the very best in whatever he does from here

  • Comment number 68.


    Michael Vaughan has been a top quality batsman and a fine leader. He has been a gallant soldier in the Gentleman's Game. Let's wish him well in life and success in all his projects and plans.



    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 69.

    Vaughan and Fletcher got players performing. Paul Collingwood is a great case in point. Rod Marsh scoffed at Collie batting at 4. One Ashes double century later, he had to change his mind. Matt Hoggard became an essential part of the side. Ashley Giles did likewise. Throw in some great talent like Strauss and Trescothick plus Flintoff alongside and you had a team who really did hold up their hand when it mattered and play some great cricket. The series we won in South Africa was to my mind at least as impressive as winning the Ashes in 2005.

    Scott,
    max gxl

 

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