Summer Of Cricket
Top Tens Ashes Special
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Top Ten - Ashes absentees

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A look at which players could have made a difference in Ashes history

There have been many players who have made the Ashes outstanding, but what about the ones that were missing for varying reasons. Adam Scott picks out ten players that could have made a difference.

Bert Oldfield, 1932/33

After establishing himself as the Australian No.1 wicket keeper by 1925, Bert Oldfield's career was at an all time high and although he had been dropped in several matches he had managed to cement his place in the team.

The one low in his career came in the 1932/33 Ashes series when England fast-bowler Harold Larwood's delivery hit Oldfield on the head, fracturing his skull.

After being carried out of the ground unconscious he was ruled out of the fourth Test, however, he managed to make a full recovery in time for the fifth.

Harold Larwood,1933

Harold Larwood was one of the most exciting English quicks of his generation and in 1932 he was a key weapon in Douglas Jardine's armoury as he took his side Down Under to challenge the might of Don Bradman's Australia.

His role in the infamous Bodyline series has gone down in legend but his demise followed just as swiftly. In 1933, as Australia headed to England for a rematch, he was asked to apologise to the Australian Cricket Board over his use of bodyline techniques. He promptly refused, meaning he never played international cricket again.

Terry Alderman,1985

A man that became the first bowler to take more than 40 wickets in two Ashes series was always going to be remembered well, however, Terry Alderman dented that reputation when he tackled an England fan after he was slapped in the face.

The tackle itself saw Alderman dislocate his own shoulder during, ruling him out of cricket for a year. He was a big loss to an Australian side that was looking to win back-to-back Ashes series.

To add to his misery, in 1985 he was suspended from international cricket for three years after competing in an unofficial Tour of South Africa. England won 3-1 that year, dashing any hopes of a revival for the Australian team.

Shane Warne, 1998/99

Arguably one of the best bowlers in history, Shane Warne was sidelined for the final two Tests of the series in the 1998/99 after suffering a shoulder injury.

His demise gave England an all-needed morale boost as they were looking to prevent the Aussies from a sixth consecutive series win.

However, his teammates let him off the hook as they went on to win 3-1. Just how forgiving the Aussie fans would have been if they had lost is a moment to ponder.

Brett Lee, 2001

Aussie Selector Merv Hughes had to make a brave decision for the first two Tests of the series, who would replace Brett Lee, one of the most skilful purveyors of the reverse swing around. The Aussie struggled to find his form in the 2001 Ashes after being out with an elbow injury.

His teammates failed to produce a performance, allowing England to snatch a draw in the first Test. Could it have been different with a fully fit Brett Lee in the team? Only he will know.

Graham Thorpe, 2002

In 2002, Australia took a depleted England team apart, winning the series 4-1 overall. England had found themselves without many of their star players, including star batsman Graham Thorpe.

Having been declared fit for Test cricket earlier in the year, Thorpe later withdrew from the squad, missing the entire Ashes series in 2002. The England batsman had been suffering emotionally after the breakdown of his marriage earlier that year and had struggled to cope with the aftermath so opted out of the trip.

He decided to finally end his career after Kevin Pietersen was picked ahead of him in the 2005 Ashes series.

Michael Vaughan, 2006-7

Michael Vaughan will always be in the hearts of England fans after he guided his side to victory in the Ashes in 2005. However, after his side's success, he spent the entire 2006 season on the sidelines due to a knee injury.

The injury also ruled him out of the 2006/7 Ashes series in which England suffered a demoralising 5-0 defeat.

Vaughan failed to make an impact upon his return to cricket and after losing out on a permanent England place to Ravi Bopara and Ian Bell he decided to call it a day in June 2009.

Glenn McGrath, 2005

Dubbed one of the world's most successful fast-bowlers, Glenn McGrath's absence from the Aussie side in the second Test of the 2005 series provided Michael Vaughan's side with a chance at glory.

In a freakish incident, McGrath found was ruled out just half an hour before the start of the second Ashes Test, after he stepped on a ball. Australia went on to lose the series 2-1 much to a jubilant England's delight.

Simon Jones, 2005

After destroying the Australian side in 2005 with his devastating 90mph reverse-swing deliveries, Simon Jones could only watch and hope that his teammates could repeat the success he inspired four-years-ago.

After suffering a devastating ankle injury in the fourth Test in the 2005 Ashes, Jones was ruled out of the final Test in which England secured an outstanding victory and the subsequent tour Down Under.

Kevin Pietersen, 2009

Hailed as the saviour of English cricket, Kevin Pietersen is definitely not one of the names you would like to see on the injury list.

The Hampshire batsman was ruled out of the final three Tests of the 2009 Ashes with an Achilles problem.

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