On Day 3 of the first Ashes 2023 Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England's fast bowler Ollie Robinson had a heated exchange with Australia's opener Usman Khawaja, using offensive language as he celebrated Khawaja's dismissal. Khawaja, who had an impressive score of 126 runs the previous day, was eventually bowled out for 141 off 321 deliveries. His innings included 14 boundaries (fours) and three maximums (sixes).
The England captain, Ben Stokes, set up a clever fielding position with an umbrella-shaped formation in front of the wicket for Khawaja. The bowler, Robinson, then delivered a smartly executed ball, causing the left-handed batsman to hit his own wicket unintentionally. As Khawaja left the field after an impressive inning, Robinson expressed his thoughts to him in a straightforward manner.
Robinson's action of giving a spirited send-off to the friendly Khawaja received varied responses from people. However, the bowler stood up for his behavior by highlighting that Australian players have been engaging in similar actions towards England for a considerable time.
Robinson's reaction will stir up different opinions, but it will be forever remembered in the history of the Ashes as one of the most widely discussed send-offs. Speaking of which, let's look back at five other unforgettable send-offs from the past.
The farewell was quite unusual. Australia completely outshined England in the 2014 Ashes series. They convincingly defeated the English team in the first four Tests and were on their path to a flawless victory in the fifth and final Test match in Sydney.
After scoring 326 runs in their initial innings, Australia successfully dismissed England for 155 runs. They had established a substantial lead that could potentially secure them the victory. However, Ben Stokes bowled a full delivery during the game and managed to dismiss Mitchell Johnson (scoring 4 runs). Although there wasn't much reason to celebrate, Stokes inexplicably lost control and aggressively confronted Johnson, giving him a send-off.
To give you a better understanding, Johnson was awarded the Player of the Series title for taking an impressive total of 37 wickets.
It was an unusual farewell. During the third Test of the Ashes series in 2010-11 at the WACA in Perth, Mitchell Johnson, who was at the non-striker's end, decided to provoke James Anderson by making a comment.
"Why are you chirping now, mate? Not getting any wickets?"
On the very next delivery, Anderson successfully dismissed Ryan Harris (3) by hitting the stumps. He then turned towards the batsman at the non-striker's end and celebrated with a gesture, putting his finger on his lips.
Kevin Pietersen used to provoke several bowlers during his time as a cricketer. In the particular Test mentioned earlier (the third Test of the 2010-2011 Ashes series), he faced a spirited celebration from Johnson after getting dismissed without scoring any runs in the first innings.
It seems like the fast bowler on the left side wasn't very pleased when the batter from England sarcastically asked for his phone number. Later, when talking about the incident, Johnson described Pietersen as someone who can be a bit of a smart aleck.
Johnson finished with impressive bowling figures of 6 wickets for 38 runs, contributing significantly to Australia's resounding victory with a massive margin of 267 runs.
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One of the standout moments from the 2005 Ashes series was when Andrew Flintoff posed a significant challenge for Adam Gilchrist.
During the first day of the Test match at Lord's, Gilchrist bravely faced the fast bowler from England and hit a few boundaries off him. However, Flintoff got his payback by getting Gilchrist out for 26 runs. He cleverly bowled a full delivery that moved away at the last moment, causing Gilchrist to get caught behind by the wicketkeeper.
Flintoff expressed his exhilaration with a mighty roar after successfully taking the crucial wicket. He continued to pose significant challenges for the legendary Australian Player throughout the remainder of the series.
Australia emerged victorious in the Lord's Test, with runs commanding a lead of 239 runs. However, amidst this battle, there was a clear standout: the England all-rounder Flintoff, who managed to dismiss Gilchrist again in the second innings.
Merv Hughes's famous taunt towards Graeme Hick has become a memorable part of Ashes history. During a match, when Hick was finding it difficult to handle Hughes's fast deliveries, the quirky Australian bowler decided to offer him some "advice" and stated:
"Turn the bat over! The instructions are on the other side!"
Speaking of that, the way Hughes bid farewell to Hick with great passion after getting him out in the Old Trafford Test during the 1993 Ashes represents Australia's complete control over England during the 90s.
The famous picture captures a powerful moment - Hughes roaring while Hick walks back to the pavilion, looking disappointed. This image perfectly represents the intense nature of Ashes matches during the 90s and early 2000s.
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