English cricket fans flood London streets

Hundreds of thousands of fans jammed the streets of central London and Trafalgar Square to praise the England cricket team after its victory in the Ashes series for the first time in nearly two decades.

"Kangaroo Bashers" was the boast on T-shirts worn by many fans who crowded the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) parade route to cheer captain Michael Vaughan and his team, who rode in an open-top bus from the Lord Mayor's official residence at Mansion House to the square.

"It's been a long night," Vaughan told the cheering throng. "We've celebrated in true English fashion."

Australia has held the Ashes, the trophy contested by cricket's oldest rivals every two years, since 1989. England last won the coveted urn in 1986-87 and slumped to the bottom of the test rankings before completing its recovery Monday, when a draw at The Oval sealed a 2-1 win in the best-of-five series.

"It's the best thing that's happened for many years. I was a young man the last time we won the Ashes," said Michael Rose, a 43-year-old driver from London. "When English sport is good, the country feels good."

Loyal supporters hoped it was the dawn of a new age of English superiority.

"Cricket has become the national sport again for the summer; it had been a dying sport for the past five to seven years," said Ben Ruhrmund, membership manager of the England Supporters' Cricket Club. "Now you see kids playing in the park again."

As the parade passed the Australian embassy, which was ringed by police, staff who had left their offices waved Aussie flags.

England rallied from defeat in the first test at Lord's with victories at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge. Tense draws at Old Trafford last month and The Oval on Monday completed the series win, the AP reports.

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