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The 2005 Ashes series was that year's edition of the long-standing and storied cricket rivalry between England and Australia. Starting on 21 July 2005, England and Australia played five Tests, with the Ashes held by Australia as the most recent victors. The final result was a 2–1 series win for England, who succeeded (for the first time since 1987) in their biennial attempt to win the urn.
In March, Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting, said that this Ashes series would be the closest since Australia's dominance began in 1989. Since 1989, when Australia started their winning Ashes streak, England had only come within one match of the title once, in 1997: Australia were the pre-eminent side in the world, whilst England had dropped from being the top-rated in 1981 to sixth for much of the Nineties. They reached a low point in 1999 with a series loss to New Zealand leaving them bottom of the unofficial Wisden Cricketers' Almanack rankings. However, since the previous series in 2002–03, England had improved on their fifth place in the official rankings, and were second before this series. Australia were still top-ranked, but England had won 14 and drawn three of their 18 previous Test
The 2006–07 cricket series between Australia and England for the Ashes was played in Australia from 23 November 2006 to 5 January 2007. Australia won the series and regained the Ashes that had been lost to England in the 2005 series. The five Tests of the series were played at Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. In winning, Australia completed a 5–0 "whitewash", the first time this had happened in an Ashes series since 1920–21. The series was also notable for the retirement of several significant Australian players, namely Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath, and Shane Warne.
Ricky Ponting was named Player of the Series.
During lunch on the third day of the First Test in Brisbane, The Cricket Show on Channel 9 in Australia revealed that the winner of the Ashes would lift a larger, crystal model of the Ashes urn at the end of the series, rather than a replica of the small Ashes urn.
Ricky Ponting found himself criticised by journalists on his captaincy and performances in the 2005 series during the run-up to the first Test. When questioned in a press conference on this subject, he said "We didn't perform the way we would have liked and probably I didn't score