If the hostile reception David Warner and Steve Smith have received on English soil is anything to go by, then Australia could be in for a torrid time when they play England on June 25.
The Ashes series, beginning on August 1, is sure to bring controversies aplenty of its own, but in the meantime, the two sides will be battling it out in the World Cup.
India fans came under the spotlight for their treatment of Smith and Warner during their 36-run victory at the Oval, but there are countless recent memories that will no doubt spur on England supporters in the same way.
That famous old ‘spirit of cricket’ is sure to be alive and well.
2005: Ricky Ponting vs Gary Pratt
Forever a useful name to remember for a pub quiz, Durham youngster Gary Pratt was introduced as a substitute fielder, temporarily replacing Simon Jones at Trent Bridge. Australia captain Ricky Ponting was already unhappy with the number of subs being allowed, and that was before he was spectacularly denied his half-ton by Pratt’s run out. The resulting meltdown cost the skipper 75% of his match fee.
2005: ‘The greatest Test of all time’
Over at Edgbaston, Australia needed 282 in the final innings, but four wickets from Andrew Flintoff, who also caught out Adam Gilchrist, reduced the visitors to 220-9. A matter of time, it seemed, until Steve Harmison bowled them over. Instead, Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz put on an incredible last wicket-stand and came within three runs of one of the most unlikely turnarounds in Ashes history.
2006/07: Harmison’s first ball horror show
As many predicted, the optimism brought about by the 2005 series did not translate abroad. The story ever since has been that Harmison set the tone for England’s disastrous trip Down Under with his horrendous first-ball wide to Justin Langer that ended up in Flintoff’s hands in the slips, but that is an oversimplification somewhat of a tour that went badly wrong for a host of reasons. It’s true, nonetheless, that things didn’t really improve from that point on, and England suffered a whitewash.
2009: Panesar and Anderson’s last stand
The unlikeliest of heroes, the most dramatic of draws. England cult hero Monty Panesar – who had a Test average under five with the bat – teamed up with James Anderson to survive 69 balls. Cardiff watched on nervously as Paul Collingwood batted patiently but as soon as Panesar entered, it ought to have been game over. The fact it wasn’t has seen that memorable, although largely uninspiring, Test dubbed a miracle.
2013: Broad won’t walk
The first Test of the 2013 series, and a time when Australian cricket could afford to be a little more pious. Ashton Agar’s delivery to Stuart Broad was caught at first slip by Michael Clarke. Without the option to review, he stood his ground and the extra runs he earned proved decisive. It also proved the end of any shred of respect he had left among sections of the Aussie media, who from that point referred to him only as an unnamed “27-year-old medium-pace bowler”, the Brisbane Courier-Mail blocking him out of photos altogether. Darren Lehmann called him a “blatant cheat”. How the mighty have fallen.