HARTSHEAD lad Tim Bresnan will return to Spen a hero after playing a key role as England completed their first Ashes win Down Under in 24 years.
Tim, who is currently building a house in Spen, played in the final two Ashes Tests against Australia. He wrote his name into cricketing folklore after taking the wicket which saw England retain the urn with victory in the fourth Test at Melbourne, just after Christmas.
The 25-year-old, who claimed match figures of 6-75 at the MCG, backed it up with another fine display, claiming match stats of 5-141 as England won the fifth Test in Sydney by an innings and 83 runs last week to clinch a memorable 3-1 series win.
Yorkshire cricket captain Andrew Gale, who shared a house with Tim in the valley, said he was delighted for the star – somewhat of a lucky charm for England, having won all seven Tests he has played in.
“Tim was an outsider to play, but he bided his time and was waiting in the wings, ready for his opportunity,” said the former Heckmondwike Grammar School pupil.
“When he came up, he took the opportunity with both hands. He has worked really hard on his fitness and he deserves this.”
Andrew who has known the Bresnan family for several years said they went out to watch Tim play in the last two games.
“His girlfriend and his mum and dad were out there so saw him take the final wicket [in Melbourne],” he said.
“They were there for the last two games so it was good for them to see him in action.”
Last week, Tim was pictured relaxing with his girlfriend Hannah Battye, from Gomersal, whose sister Katie is married to Andrew Gale.
Andrew added: “It’s been a hectic few months for the family. Tim has got the one day series in Australia before he returns to England and goes to India for the World Cup.
“It works out that he’s been away for the best part of six months!”
He added that the cricketers had enjoyed a jubilant reception from the fans after they clinched the Ashes.
Andrew said: “They have been rightly celebrating and I’ve had a few texts off him saying he’s having a great time. He said there’s a fantastic buzz out there and England’s Barmy Army had been fantastic.
“The national football and rugby teams haven’t been performing that well so I think cricket is leading the sports at the moment and there’s a really good feeling about it.
“I think England’s win will definitely inspire a new generation of youngsters to get involved in the sport.”
As well as running his coaching business, Pro Cricket Coaching Academy, 27-year-old Andrew is now busy preparing to fly out to the West Indies with the England Lions for nine weeks when the team plays in the Championship Domestic Cup.
Meanwhile Tim was part of England’s Twenty20 side, which defeated Australia in Adelaide on Wednesday to set a new world record of
eight consecutive international Twenty20 wins.
England will be aiming to stretch that record to nine wins, when they take on Australia in the second Twenty20 game today.