Ball wants this one to be the greatest series of all
LIKE many cricket fans in their early to mid20s, England bowler Jake Ball enjoyed the 2005 Ashes – so much so that he says it was a turning point in his passion for cricket.
Ball was 14 when England won what was arguably the best ever series’ between England and Australia, which the Three Lions famously came from behind in to win 2-1.
The 26-year-old has played just three Tests for England but is part of the squad heading Down Under tomorrow. And now he wants to be part of a series that captures a nation.
Ball said: “The 2005 Ashes is where everything got going for me. My brother and I watched every ball we could in that series and it got my juices flowing. It is what pushed me to try to get on an Ashes series.
“I was big into my cricket but I saw how many people got into cricket that year. Up until then I did not realise how big cricket was in this country.
“Everybody came together as a nation to watch that and I think it captured everybody’s imagination, it certainly captured mine. Hopefully we can recreate what happened in that series out in Australia.”
Ball has claimed just two wickets in his three Tests but he is relishing the unique nature of an Ashes battle Down Under.
“The players who have already been out there in an Ashes series were giving advice. I have been told to keep my head down,” he added.
“It can be quite a hostile place. The crowd and their players like to get on top of you and it is about keeping in your own bubble and doing what you do best.
“It was very helpful and to have the likes of Broady (Nottinghamshire team-mate Stuart Broad) who I am very close with – to turn to for advice.
“He has probably seen the worst side of Australia. He got quite a lot of stick last time he was there, so to have people like him is a real positive.
“People say you can make your career out of an Ashes series, so hopefully I can go out there and show what I can do and put my name up in lights.”
Despite being less experienced in whites, Ball has often shone for England in limited-overs cricket where he has 16 games and taken 21 wickets. And he can’t wait to experience the Ashes vibe.
He added: “Getting all my kit and packing it all makes it feel more real. I can’t wait to get out there now. I’m excited to get in front of an Australian crowd if I play. So long as it doesn’t get out of hand, it’s good to have the banter.
“I think you have to go out there with drive and determination. I’ve got personal pride. It hasn’t gone my way all the time in ODI cricket this year. There’s times where it’s been hard.”
On his way: Jake Ball is part of the England squad heading to Australia