A former England cricketer who has starred in two Ashes series is predicting an England victory against Australia this summer.
Stamford School coach and ex-Kent, Middlesex and England bowler Dean Headley anticipates a tight contest between the two old enemies but believes that the home side will be victorious in the five-Test series come the end of August.
Dean was a member of the 1997 England squad which lost the six-Test home series 3-2 to the Aussies, but he will be best remembered for his feat in the series down under in 1998/99.
Dean captured his career best figures of 6-60 in the fourth Test in Melbourne, taking the wickets of Australian legends Michael Slater, Mark Waugh and Ian Healey along the way, to help England win by 12 runs.
He was given the man of the match award for his efforts and his celebrations during the match feature on a Sky preview advert for this summer’s series.
Although England lost the series 3-1, Dean believes that series kick-started England’s long road to success, which peaked when they won the 2005 Ashes series, which is often described as the greatest series ever.
Dean, who was at the first day of the first Test Match, which began on Wednesday at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, said: “I always loved playing against Australia.
“It was always the biggest test of your ability because when I played they were the best team in the world, and one of the best ever.
“We didn’t win in 1998/99 but series was a real boost for English cricket. We gave a really good account of ourselves and then six years later they (England) won the Ashes after 18 years.
“I think this summer will be a really exciting duel between the two countries.
“I think England will win 3-1 but it will be tight and not a walkover like people are predicting.
“But it’s a mark of how good the England team are now because they believe they can beat anybody.”
Dean, who took 466 wickets during his career, is organising Stamford’s own cricket event of the summer which will feature legends of the game in a Twenty20 spectacular on July 26 at Stamford School.
The game will feature the PCA England Masters XI and an All-Star Masters XI.
Names confirmed for the event include; Neil Fairbrother, Glenn Chapple, Mark Ramprakash, Warren Hegg; Chris Schofield, Martin Bicknell, Adam Hollioake; Alex Tudor, Derek Randall, Andrew Caddick, Joe Denly, Collis King, Ashwell Prince, Corey Collymore, Andre Adams, Min Patel, Mark Ealham, Greg Matthews, and Mal Loye.
Sri Lankan wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardene is the latest star to be added.
The event will start at 9am with 12 local children’s cricket teams taking part in a Kwik Cricket competition to battle it out for the Chesterton Humberts Under 10s Cup.
Crowds will be entertained by other activities including interactive cricket roadshow the ECB Cricket Factory, Leicester Tigers’ roadshow vehicle The Maul and a 45-metre inflatable assault course.
Car fanatics are also in for a treat as Sytner, the main sponsor, has confirmed it will be bringing along a range of super cars including a Ferrari, Maserati and many more.
Dean said: “The Chesterton Humberts Kwik Cricket Cup will be quite a sight for all those who love the game so if spectators could turn up and support it will give them a real thrill playing in front of an audience.
“I suppose one of the highlights will be Mark Ramprakash, who’ll be a favourite for the ladies and a treat to see for all cricketers. Winning BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and playing cricket for England, some people are just too greedy.”
Visit www.stamfordenglandmasters.co.uk or call the ticket hotline on 08445 810 741.