30 Dec 2010

British PM congratulates Ashes champions

8:16 am on 30 December 2010

The British Prime Minister David Cameron led the congratulations for England's cricketers after their victory in the fourth test in Melbourne ensured they would leave Australia with the Ashes for the first time in 24 years.

England won the match by an innings and 157 runs, after skittling the final four Australian batsmen in day four to give the tourist's their biggest victory over Australia for 56 years.

The England batsmen Kevin Pietersen says he's been overwhelmed by the messages of congratulations from around the world and has described the England fans and of course, the Barmy Army, as the greatest supporters in sport.

Meanwhile Australia will announce their squad for next weeks fifth and final dead rubber test in Sydney later today, with huge interest surrounding the future role of skipper Ricky Ponting.

Ponting's modest series at number 3, scoring just 113 runs in four Tests, has led to further speculation the 36-year-old may drop down to number four with NSW youngster Usman Khawaja coming into the side at first drop.

However Khawaja's inclusion would require selectors to drop either the out-of-form Michael Clarke or youngster Steve Smith from the middle order, and both players appear unlikely to lose their spots.