Thatscricket - News - British press lavishes praise on Butcher for Ashes victory
Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Butcher knock echoes Botham innings
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[an error occurred while processing this directive]Leeds: England's success-starved cricket press lavished praise on Mark Butcher on Tuesday following his match-winning performance against Australia in the fourth Ashes Test.'Butchered' was the headline of choice for several newspapers while the front cover of the Daily Telegraph had "Battling Butcher carves out victory for England".The Sun opted for 'Butch of Class' and inside paid tribute to 'Boomerang Butcher', a reference to the batsman's 18 months of torment during which he lost form and saw his marriage break up."Mark Butcher played the innings of his life and all our dreams," the paper enthused. "He produced something that was almost unbelievable in its quality, skill and chest-beating, flag-waving, joy-inducing significance."We beat the Aussies, we bloody well did."The Times tried to put Butcher's innings into historical context, even comparing it with Ian Botham's match-winning innings in the legendary Headingley Test of 1981."It will be remembered as long as cricket is played.... it was scarcely less remarkable than Ian Botham's 149 not out in 1981. If not quite in the exalted class of Graham Gooch's 154 not out to beat West Indies on a worse pitch in 1991, it will certainly be mentioned in the same breath."It is too, a happy coincidence that his (Butcher's) score is the same as Bradman's on the day that Australia scored 404 to win at Headingley in 1948."The media here had been awash with features about Headingley 1981 when England, following on, beat Australia thanks to Botham's innings and Bob Willis' eight for 43.Botham, writing in the Mirror, said, "I just hope he (Butcher) gets the video of his 173 not out so he can enjoy it in his old age."There was also plenty of praise for Australia stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist and his team, acknowledgement too that rain on Sunday had robbed the Australians of two sessions of batting time in which they might have set an unreachable target."The Australians, to their immense credit, applauded Butcher's century warmly, and every man shook his hand at the end," The Daily Telegraph's cricket correspondent noted.He added, "There was no dishonour in this defeat for they had taken as many wickets, 14, as England and it was only Gilchrist's enterprising declaration that gave England a sniff."