Australian PM congratulates team for Ashes clean sweep

Canberra, Jan 5 : Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Sunday congratulated the country's cricket team and skipper Michael Clarke on their 5-0 victory in the Ashes series over England.

"Winning the Ashes 5-0 is a historic triumph. Each of our players had the hopes of the nation on their shoulders and they performed with distinction to achieve this extraordinary victory. Australians are incredibly proud of them. To win so comprehensively after disappointment earlier last year shows tremendous character," Abbot said Sunday afternoon, reports Xinhua.

The prime minister said the "stunning victory" was a commendable comeback. After England won 3-0 to secure the urn for a third consecutive series in Britain last year, Australia has answered four months later with the most emphatic turnaround under the leadership of Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann.

Australia's blazing Ashes whitewash is complete after Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson finished off England inside three days of the fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. England collapsed in humiliating circumstances to hand Australia a comprehensive 281-run victory and the third 5-0 clean sweep in Ashes history.

Johnson was named Man of the Series ahead of wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin, taking 37 wickets at an average of 13.9 while Harris was named Man of the Match for his match figures of 8/61.

--IANS (Posted on 05-01-2014)

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