Ashes 2013-14: Sydney Cricket Ground guide, history & statistics

The Sydney Cricket Ground's pavilion

Fifth Test: Australia v England

Sydney Cricket Ground
3-7 January
Start time:
23:30 GMT (2-6 January)
Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and via the BBC iPlayer Radio app, BBC Sport website & BBC Sport app; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live text commentary on BBC Sport website, app & mobile devices

The Ashes series concludes - as is traditional - at the Sydney Cricket Ground, more commonly known as the SCG.

Like the Adelaide Oval, it also hosts other sports and has undergone plenty of redevelopment in recent years - the notorious "Hill" is long gone, although the famous green-roofed Members' Pavilion remains.

In the last two decades, Sydney has become established as the venue for a Test starting just after New Year's Day. In recent years the third day of those Tests have been designated as "Pink Days" to raise money for legendary seamer Glenn McGrath's breast cancer charity.

The SCG in numbers

Malcolm Ashton

BBC Test Match Special statistician Malcolm Ashton presents Sydney's Ashes records:

Australia-England Tests: 54 (Australia won 25, England won 22, with seven draws)

First Australia-England Test: Sydney became Test cricket's third venue on 17-21 February 1882. Australia won by five wickets.

First Ashes Test: The Sporting Times's "obituary" was published after Australia's win at the Oval in August 1882, so Sydney's first "Ashes" Test was from 26-30 January 1883. After England won by 69 runs to take the series 2-1, captain Ivo Bligh was given a terracotta urn containing the ashes of a bail by some Australian ladies, including his future wife. It remains in the MCC museum to this day.

Highest Ashes total: 659-8 declared by Australia in December 1946. Sid Barnes and Don Bradman both made 234, adding 405 for the fifth wicket (still a world record).

Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne
Legends McGrath and Warne played their final Test together at Sydney in January 2007

Lowest Ashes total: 42 by Australia in February 1888. It remained a world record until 1896, and could have been even lower had they not recovered from 26-8.

Highest individual Ashes score: The 287 scored by England's Tip Foster in 1903 remained an SCG record until Michael Clarke's 329 not out against India in 2012.

Most Ashes runs: 808 by England's Wally Hammond, averaging an astonishing 161.40 with two double centuries and two other tons in five matches between 1928 and 1946.

Best Ashes bowling (innings): 8-24 by England seamer George Lohmann in February 1887. He took 8-58 on the same ground five years later.

Most Ashes wickets: 45 by Australia seamer Charlie "Terror" Turner in six Tests between 1887 and 1895.

Ashes runs scored: 26,377, for the loss of 932 wickets at an average of 28.30 runs per wicket.

Ashes boundaries: 2,353 (2,306 fours, 47 sixes)

*records include Tests in 1980 and 1988 when the Ashes were not technically at stake

Classic Ashes match: Seventh Test, 1971

Terry Jenner is felled by a bouncer from England's John Snow

The 1970-71 Ashes was unusually long, with an extra, seventh Test added after the third Test in Melbourne was abandoned without a ball bowled (and the first ever one-day international played in its stead).

England, who had not won an Ashes series since 1956, returned to Sydney with a 1-0 lead, a month after they had won the fourth Test there by 299 runs - the only one of the first six Tests to produce a positive result.

Australia captain Bill Lawry had come under fire for his defensive style, both as a leader and as an opening batsman. While ringing the changes for this final Test with the Ashes on the line, the selectors dropped Lawry, who only found out when he heard it on the radio.

Ian Chappell, his replacement as skipper, won the toss and England, without the injured Geoffrey Boycott, were bowled out for 184 on the first day as leg-spinners Terry Jenner and Kerry O'Keeffe took three wickets apiece.

The flashpoint came when Australia batted. They had already established a first-innings lead by the time Jenner, batting at number nine, was hit on the head by paceman John Snow and retired hurt.

At the end of the over, umpire Lou Rowan warned Snow for intimidation. As the Sussex player retreated to the boundary, he was pelted with beer cans by the crowd and grabbed by one angry supporter. Captain Ray Illingworth responded by leading his team from the field in protest.

The Australian batsmen remained in the middle while the cans were removed by police. Play resumed after a short delay - but only after the umpires warned Illingworth that he risked forfeiting the match.

Jenner resumed his innings next morning, helping the total along to 264.

England fared better against the spinners second time around as openers John Edrich and Brian Luckhurst hit half centuries, and the eventual total of 302 set Australia a target of 223 to square the series and retain the Ashes.

Snow bowled Ken Eastwood in the first over and although his opening partner Keith Stackpole made 67, he lacked support as it was the turn of England's spinners - Illingworth (3-39) and Derek Underwood (2-28) to dominate.

The luckless Jenner was the last man out as Australia lost their last five wickets for 29 runs - and the Ashes were England's.

What happened next? While Illingworth played the last of his 61 Tests in 1973, he continued to play first-class cricket into his 50s and later had a spell as England's chairman of selectors and manager.

Jenner only played seven more Tests over the next four years, and was sent to prison in 1988 for embezzling money to pay off gambling debts. After his release, he became better known as a spin bowling coach. Dubbed "The Spin Doctor", he became a mentor to the young Shane Warne. He died, aged 66, in 2011.

Pakistan became the first (and so far only) team to forfeit a Test by refusing to take the field against England at The Oval in 2006.

Champagne moment: 2 January 1999

Darren Gough (third left) is congratulated after his hat-trick

Australia held the Ashes between 1989 and 2005, but Sydney 1999 was the scene of a brief moment of magic for England's long-suffering travelling fans.

The Ashes were gone by the time England, led by Alec Stewart, pitched up for the final Test of the 1998-99 series, although victory in Melbourne had left them in with a chance of squaring the series.

Australia won the toss and the first day was dominated by a stand of 190 by the Waugh twins as Mark (121) and Steve (96) made hay on their home ground.

Darren Gough had been a mainstay of England's attack as they struggled for most of the 1990s, but the Barnsley pace bowler wrote his name into Ashes history at the SCG.

With three deliveries left in an over, Gough had wicketkeeper Ian Healy caught behind by his opposite number Warren Hegg.

Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill was castled by a searing yorker, and roared on by the Barmy Army, Gough removed versatile seamer/spinner Colin Miller's off stump to complete a triple wicket maiden.

Australia were all out in the next over, having slumped from 319-5 to 322 all out.

What happened next? The Gough-led fightback proved another false dawn as Australia won by 98 runs, with MacGill taking 12 wickets and outshining fellow leg-spinner Shane Warne.

Knee problems ended Gough's Test career in 2003, but he found TV fame by winning the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing title in 2005 before finally retiring from cricket in 2008.

The next player to take an Ashes hat-trick was Peter Siddle, who removed England's Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad at Brisbane in 2010.

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