Vaughan eyes immortality for England
Michael Vaughan has challenged England’s players to seize the opportunity to become “legends of the game” by winning the Ashes in Australia.
The England squad is announced on Thursday, ahead of their departure in November for what Vaughan describes as the “toughest tour” in cricket.
They will attempt to do what no England team have managed since 1987, when Mike Gatting returned triumphant from Australia after a 2-1 triumph.
Gatting’s name is synonymous with Ashes success Down Under, despite his not winning another match during his 23-Test reign as captain.
That statistic is not lost on Vaughan, England’s most successful captain and remembered by many as the man who regained the urn in memorable fashion on these shores in 2005.
“They have got a great chance of doing something very, very special by winning in Australia,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower will know that this is a perfect opportunity for the players to put themselves right up there with the legends of the game. And they will be if they win.
“Mike Gatting only won two Tests as England captain, both of which were in Australia. He’s still regarded as the guy that won the Ashes in Australia.
“Doing these things are special and are lasting memories for a lot of people.”
Such a prospect is entirely realistic, according to Vaughan, who tasted defeat in the ranks on Australian soil in 2002-03 - a tour on which he excelled with the bat - before injury prevented him captaining the side during the 5-0 whitewash four years later.
Vaughan’s optimism is borne in part from England’s form since they regained the Ashes on their own turf last summer: they drew in South Africa and have beaten Bangladesh away and at home before completing a 3-1 mauling of Pakistan this summer.
“Any time you’re winning you get that extra buzz of confidence that you need,” added Vaughan. “If you win well you get a bit more.
“Australia is still the toughest tour, no question. They're strong, but not as strong as they used to be.
“England will go there with a real positive attitude, full of confidence and as well prepared as they have ever been.”