High-scoring England and Warwickshire batsmen Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott re-lived their Ashes success in Australia at a special business breakfast in Coventry.
Bell, who has been granted a benefit year in 2011 by Warwickshire County Cricket Club, and Trott spoke to an invited audience of Yorkshire Bank customers and prospective clients at its Financial Solutions Centre at the Ricoh Arena about England’s 3-1 series win – the first in Australia since 1986/87.
Bell, a former student of Princethorpe College in Warwickshire, scored his first Ashes century in the fifth Test in Sydney while Trott hit 135 not out in England’s second innings in Brisbane in an unbeaten second wicket partnership of 329 with Alastair Cook.
“It was definitely the highlight of my career to be out in Australia and pretty much dominate them except for one Test,” Bell said. “It was the best achievement of my life.
“Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower made sure we were as well prepared and as well organised as in any Test I have been involved in during my career so the sprinkler dance was done a few times!
“I think it is more special to win the Ashes in Australia. Having experienced a 5-0 defeat and getting that rubbed in your face, going back there to win was amazing.
“Winning the Ashes in England, going through London and seeing all the support and what it meant to people was very special but I think winning in Australia beats all that.
“In Sydney when we were warming up on the last day the support was just incredible and even thinking about it now gives me goosebumps.”
Trott, who was named by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack as one of its four Cricketers of the Year for 2011, said the warm-up match against the Australian A-side had been a key part of their Ashes preparation and highlighted the positive mind-set of all the players involved.
“We had a month of games before the first Test and we got a sense of the focus and determination around the group which if you get in your line of business then you get a feeling that everything is clicking,” he said.
“We beat the Aussie’s A side on day four and most touring sides would then think they had a couple of extra hours off but since we had finished before lunch, everybody went to the gym to do fitness work.
“We knew tougher things lay ahead and that getting in the extra fitness work would benefit us further down the line.”
Paul Reeves, managing partner of Yorkshire Bank’s Financial Solutions Centre in Coventry at the Ricoh Arena, said it had been a fascinating morning.
“Ian and Jonathan gave everyone a really good insight into England’s success in Australia and their answers were fantastic,” he said. “It was a really interesting and informative talk.”