Caddick reflects on Sydney send-off
Little did he know at the time, but the final match of the 2002-03 Ashes series in Sydney would prove to be Andy Caddick’s last outing in the Test arena.
It was nothing more than a dead rubber; England were 4-0 down in the contest and all they had left to play for was an ounce of pride.
However, pride is something many people, sportsman more than most, take very seriously and what followed was a dominant performance that saw the tourists claim a convincing 225-run win.
Caddick, who missed the third Test at Perth with a back injury, was the focal point, taking 10 wickets in a match for the first time to lead his side to a morale-boosting triumph.
Though disappointed not to have added to his 62 Test caps thereafter, he believes it was the perfect end to his career in the game’s premier form.
“We had not started the series well by any means,” he told ecb.co.uk. “I injured my back in the second Test at Adelaide, which meant I missed out at Perth because they were back-to-back Tests.
“I came back at Melbourne and started to bowl quite well, which went on to Sydney, and to win that last Test after being hammered throughout the rest was nice.
“It was great to come from Australia having won a Test match on their home soil, and to do so as convincingly as we did.
“It was wonderful for the supporters - the Barmy Army had supported us throughout the series with little reward so it was great for us to repay them with a good performance.
“I did not know it was going to be my last Test - I would have liked to have played more, but, looking back, it proved to be a wonderful finish to my Test career.”
Caddick did not always enjoy such happiness in an England shirt and was often criticised for failing to consistently produce his best form on the international stage.
Yet although he played in an England side that endured more lows than highs, he ended his Test career having taken 234 wickets at an impressive average of 29.91.
He admits he takes pride in helping lay the foundation for the success achieved under Duncan Fletcher and, more recently, Andy Flower.
“Unfortunately, looking back at my career, it wasn’t until the 2000s when we went to Sri Lanka and Pakistan, under Fletcher and Nasser Hussain, and won that England started winning Test series,” he added.
“But I think that’s when England started to progress from the doldrums of Test cricket to where they are now.
“I can take credit in that I helped to establish an England camp that, from 2000, started to move forward and put a structure in place.
“We now have a ‘Team England’ situation which I think was started during the end of my career and is something I am very proud to have been involved in.”