Ian Bell’s decision to retire at the end of the season means that the last active player who took part in the unforgettable 2005 Ashes will be calling it a day.
The series was England’s first win in the contest for 18 years and held by many to be the best Test series ever.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the 12 men who represented England that summer and what happened next.
Played on for a remarkable 13 seasons after his final Test appearance, scoring heavily for Somerset for most of that time. Agonisingly finished as a County Championship runner-up five times, with the Taunton side still seeking their first title.
Captained England to their next two Ashes victories after 2005, including a famous win Down Under in 2010-11. Retired immediately after his 100th Test in the wake of a high-profile bust-up with Kevin Pietersen but later re-emerged as director of English cricket. Left that post in 2018 to be with his terminally-ill wife Ruth, who died later that year.
The captain who will forever be linked to ‘the greatest series’ and went on to finish with a national record of 26 Test wins in charge. Injuries and intermittent form followed him for much of the three years between his crowning moment at The Oval and retirement, he bowed out in tears after defeat to South Africa. Now a ubiquitous broadcaster.
It’s true when they say you know when the time’s right, and unfortunately, my time is now.It’s been a pleasure.Thank you.🏴🐻 pic.twitter.com/u7Altf9qpT
— Ian Bell (@Ian_Bell) September 5, 2020
The baby of England’s winning team, now the last man to call it a day at the age of 38. Bell has a top score of 28 from nine innings for Warwickshire this season, but will retire with over 20,000 first-class runs to his name.
A bright, brash breath of fresh air all those years ago, ‘KP’ would become many things over the course of his career: innovator, agitator, record breaker and briefly, and tempestuously, captain. His outstanding England career ended messily after the 2013-14 Ashes. He was a regular on the T20 circuit for the next four years.
England’s totem in 2005 found himself thrust into service as leader for the return series in Australia and oversaw a whitewash. He cajoled his faltering body into one last battle against the old enemy in 2009 and played his part in bringing back the urn. Now a fully-fledged media star with reality TV, celebrity boxing, stage roles and a Top Gear presenting slot on his CV.
Though the wicketkeeper’s Test career was over less than 18 months after its apex, he managed another decade on the domestic circuit and bowed out by helping Gloucestershire to victory in the Royal London One Day Cup. Unexpectedly rebooted his international career with Papua New Guinea.
Retired in 2006 but has since enjoyed a distinguished second life in the game. A successful coach of Warwickshire, then an England selector and, for a while, the national side’s first specialist limited-overs coach. Headed for administration thereafter and took over from Strauss as managing director of the England men’s team.
His England days ended in 2008 and a year later he was released by his native Yorkshire. From there he took over as Leicestershire captain and led the Foxes to the T20 Cup. Has since spent time coaching women’s side the Loughborough Lightning.
Helped Durham flourish after his international days were done, as leading wicket taker in back-to-back county championship triumphs in 2008 and 2009. Once retired he took a left-field turn as manager of Ashington in the ninth tier of English football and now works as a pundit.
Sadly never wore the England shirt again after the fourth Test in 2005, laid low by a long sequence of injury problems. Played for Worcestershire and Hampshire before finishing up with a 40-over final back at his native Glamorgan. Now runs the Simon Jones Cricket Academy.
Like Trescothick, the lure of the game lingered with Collingwood, who only appeared in the last match of the 2005 series. He retired in 2018 at 42, by which time he had already established himself as a coach. He has since worked as an England assistant, and stepped in to oversee an ODI series against Ireland this year while Chris Silverwood took a break.