With Brad Haddin back in the Australian fold and much talk of an emergency return for Ricky Ponting, Joe Drabble flicks through the archives to unearth the top 10 Ashes recalls of all time...
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 04/06/13 12:44pm
Here at Sky Sports we love to keep it topical, so, with Brad Haddin back in the Australia fold and talk of a return for former skipper Ricky Ponting we have taken it upon ourselves to reminisce over other famous Ashes recalls.
Here are some other players, past and present, who have come out of the wilderness to help their country in an Ashes series over the years.
Axed from the 1954/55 tour to Australia, England off-spinner Jim Laker earned a recall for the following series and made history. In the fourth Test, with the series locked at 1-1, Laker became the first player to take 10 wickets in a Test match innings as Australia went down to a crushing innings defeat. Laker finished with match figures of 19-90 - the best match haul to date.
The late, great Colin Cowdrey was handed arguably the most famous Ashes recall in 1974 to help out an out-of-sorts England on their tour Down Under. Even in your pomp, the prospect of facing Messrs Lillee and Thomson is frightening enough, but at 42 years young Cowdrey jumped at the chance and performed admirably.
The 1977 Ashes series will forever be remembered for the sparkling return of G Boycott. The words "sparkling" and "Boycott" are seldom used in the same book, however the Yorkshireman's return in this series was something special. After not playing a Test match since June 6, 1974 against India, Boycott returned at Trent Bridge three years and seven weeks later to hit a 315-ball century at Nottingham. He then travelled to his beloved Headingley in the second Test and stroked 191 - his 100th first class century - to steer England to an innings win.
Hailed by many as 'the greatest ever captain', Mike Brearley justified those claims in 1981 during a quite remarkable Ashes series in England. Dropped from the first two Tests of the series due to an inability to hold a place as a specialist batsman, Brearley returned at Headingley following the resignation of Ian Botham. Trailing the series 1-0, Brearley reassumed the captaincy as Botham concentrated on what he did best - destroying the opposition with bat and ball. Brearley continued to mastermind the side and England went on to win the series 3-1.
After tackling a pitch invader at Perth in 1982, Aussie pace bowler Terry Alderman faced a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury. He returned to Ashes action seven years later and took a 10-wicket haul in the opening Test at Headingley. From there on he continued to torment English batsmen - even forcing Graham Gooch to ask to be left out of the team in 1989.
Dropped for his brother Mark the fourth Test of the 1990/91 Ashes series, Steve Waugh bounced back with a vengeance with an unbeaten 78 in his next Ashes appearance, the first Test of the 1993 series at Manchester. Waugh ended the series with 416 runs at 83.20, including a scintillating century at Headingley.
England off-spinner Peter Such was brought back for the 1998/99 Ashes tour, more than four years after his last Test appearance. He was picked for the third Test in Adelaide and bagged five wickets in the match. He also played in the final Test in Sydney, taking 5-81 in the second innings. He finished the series with 11 wickets at 29.36 apiece but only played one more Test, against New Zealand the following summer at Old Trafford.
After a 12-month hiatus for swallowing forbidden diuretics in 2004, Shane Warne returned to the Ashes arena a year later on a mission to catch up on lost time, and lost wickets. Despite losing the series, Warne took the fight to England almost single handily with 40 wickets and almost 250 runs in the five enthralling Tests.
After an uninspiring 2005 Ashes series, Aussie left-hander Simon Katich was dropped from the 5-0 whitewash winning side and his Test future looked all but over. However, another fantastic domestic season, combined with the retirement of recognised openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden, presented 'Kat' with another chance and he marked it with a century in the first Test of the 2009 series at Cardiff.
Australia brought all-rounder Shane Watson into the side in 2009 after overlooking him in 2005 and 2006/07. Watson, who had never previously opened the batting in Test cricket, replaced misfiring Phil Hughes for the third Test and he went on to score three successive half-centuries.