At Trafalgar, a nation salutes its cricketing heroes

Swigging from a consolatory can of lager, Warne said: "I'll have to say it makes you choke up a bit when you see so many people excited about a game of cricket. It's like you've just won a war - not beaten 11 blokes from Convict Island."

Shane, a 23-year-old tourist from Sydney, who shares a name and a haircut with his cricketing compatriot, was one of a sprinkling of Australians who found themselves immersed in very English triumphalism - complete with sunshine, polite applause, patriotic favourites and, in one notable case, too much booze.

Before a crowd of middle-aged men in striped blazers, naked-chested youths shouting "Ingerland" and young families, the nation's newest sporting heroes brought the curtain down on the Summer of 2005 in an event where Last Night of the Proms met Triumph of the Poms.

From the moment the open-topped bus carrying the cricket team which wrested the four-inch Ashes urn from Australia's grip nosed its way into Trafalgar Square, the strains of Hubert Parry's hymn turned the space around Nelson's Column into a blur of red-and-white St George flags.

Either that or it was the cards of the same colours bearing the name of the team sponsor, Vodafone, bearing testimony to the fact that every victory brings with it a marketing opportunity.

But beyond the corporate glad-handing and chest-beating of the Barmy Army, a broad coalition of supporters - some of them cricket converts of the past 24 hours - had emerged to salute the victors.

Oblivious to the September sunshine despite the heavy weight of his pearly king costume, Harry Mayhead said: "I'm not a cricket fan but I feel inspired by this lot. They played with real guts. I felt I had to come and join in the sing-along."

Standing near by, in a hijab, Naseema Khan, 25, from Wembley, north-west London, had left her office to stand before the screens showing shots of Australian batsmen being walloped by English bowlers to the heavy bass of The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony".

"My dad always supports Pakistan but I was encouraged to support England when I was growing up," she said. "I was glued to the telly yesterday - it was great to see England doing so well and feeling part of it. Cricket makes you feel included in a way that football does not."

Earlier, a crowd of 1,000 had gathered outside the Grange City Hotel, where the team, led by Andrew Flintoff, had been drinking until the small hours - and in his case, into breakfast and beyond. The latest Freeman of Preston said: "I'm struggling. I've not been to bed yet and the eyes behind these glasses tell a thousand stories. It's an emotional roller-coaster we've been through."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam