Unforgettable cricket: Alzheimer’s Society celebrates cricket’s most memorable moments to raise awareness of dementia

The UK's most iconic cricket memories are revealed as England gear up for England v South Africa LV= Insurance Test Match with day 2 dedicated to Alzheimer's Society.

About the match

Taking place during World Alzheimer’s Month, Alzheimer’s Society has teamed up with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to raise awareness of dementia as well as vital funds towards the charity’s crucial services, providing life-changing support to fans and players affected.

Kate Lee, CEO at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'There are 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK, enough to fill The Oval 33 times over, but too many are still facing it alone. Our survey reveals the cricketing moments which has left fans on the edge of their seats.'

These great sporting memories should be unforgettable but sadly that is not the case for fans and players with dementia. 

'So we’re teaming up with the ECB during World Alzheimer’s Month for an amazing day of cricket to raise awareness of dementia - the UK’s biggest killer. We want anyone worried about their own, or a loved one’s, memory to know they can turn to us for vital support at the hardest times of their lives.'

'We can’t do this alone so we’re relying on the generous donations of cricket fans to help us reach even more people with our support.'

Most iconic cricket memories survey

Most unforgettable cricket memories overall

  1. Super-Over decider at 2019’s ICC Men’s World Cup Final hailed as England cricket’s most unforgettable moment (32%)
  2. Half mark England regaining the Ashes in 2005 as The Oval’s most iconic cricketing moment (50%)
  3. England Women’s team winning the ICC Women’s World Cup in top six most memorable cricket moments
  4. Sir Ian Botham (37%) and Freddie Flintoff (35%) revealed as England’s most memorable players

The Super-Over drama of 2019 is the most unforgettable cricketing moment according to a survey of over 1,000 UK cricket fans released by Alzheimer’s Society.

Top six most memorable England cricketing moments

  1. England win the World Cup, decided by a Super-Over (2019) (32%)
  2. Ben Stokes unbeaten 135 at Headingley (2019) (28%)
  3. Freddie Flintoff’s Ashes farewell (2009) (21%)
  4. The bus parade celebration after winning The Ashes (2005) (18%)
  5. Sir Alastair Cook, Sir Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott lead England to an Ashes win in Melbourne (2010/2011) (18%)
  6. Englands Women’s team win the World Cup (2017) (16%)

From the World Cup-winning England Women’s team, current captain Heather Knight was ranked the most memorable in cricketing history, closely followed by Natalie Sciver, Charlotte Edwards, Lydia Greenway and Tammy Beaumont (all 6%).

Top six most unforgettable moments at The Kia Oval

  1. England regain the Ashes (2005) (50%)
  2. Freddie Flintoff runs out Ricky Ponting (2009 Ashes) (25%)
  3. Sir Alastair Cook’s last innings (2018 England v India) (23%)
  4. Shane Warne’s 400th Test Wicket (2001 England v Australia) (23%)
  5. Kevin Pietersen’s first Test 100 (2005 England V Australia) (19%)
  6. Sri Lanka’s Murali takes 16 wickets and destroys England (1998) (17%)

Top six most unforgettable Test Matches

  1. England v Australia: Headingley. Ben Stokes smashes 135 runs to keep England in The Ashes (2019) (33%)
  2. England v Australia: The Oval. England win The Ashes for the first time in 18 years (2005) (33%)
  3. England v Australia: Melbourne. England retain The Ashes on the way to winning to winning a series in Australia for the first time in 24 years (2010) (28%)
  4. England v Australia: Headingly. Ian Botham and Bob Willis take England from the brink of defeat to an incredible victory (1981) (26%)
  5. England v Australia: Edgbaston. England narrowly win by two runs (2005) (25%)
  6. England v Australia, Trent Bridge (2005) - Ashley Giles and Matthew Hoggard get England over the line (19%)

Top six most memorable England players

  1. Sir Ian Botham (37%)
  2. Andrew (Freddie) Flintoff (35%)
  3. Ben Stokes (25%)
  4. James Anderson (23%)
  5. Sir Alastair Cook (22%)
  6. Geoffrey Boycott (21%)

Top six most memorable South African players

  1. AB de Villiers (29%)
  2. Jacques Kallis (25%)
  3. Shaun Pollock (23%)
  4. Allan Donald (21%)
  5. Graeme Smith (21%)
  6. Graeme Pollock (21%)

Supporting people affected by dementia

Freddie Flintoff, who is an Alzheimer’s Society Sport United Against Dementia (SUAD) Champion, said: 

Cricket brings people together and creates amazing memories for fans and players – I can’t imagine losing the many memories, both good and bad, I’ve collected through my career.

'But we know this is a reality for many cricket lovers, so it’s vital people understand the symptoms and what support there is out there from Alzheimer’s Society.'

'It’s fantastic that cricket is getting behind this important cause and I’m urging fans to dig deep to raise as much money as possible to make sure no one has to face dementia alone.'

Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Richard Thompson, Chair of SUAD and newly announced Chairman of The ECB said: 

'Cricket has shaped my life, and it shaped my dad’s. In fact, dad never forgot anything about sport until his dementia diagnosis and it was a defining moment watching the precious memories collected over so many years start to slip away.'

I know that without Alzheimer’s Society, things would have been significantly harder, which is why I’m proud to be a part of the upcoming Test Match supporting the charity’s vital work.

'I hope everyone can reach into their pockets and donate whatever they can – it will make a massive difference.'

As well as raising vital funds towards Alzheimer’s Society’s services, which have been used over six million times since March 2020, the leading dementia charity and The ECB will use the dedicated Test Match as a platform to help change the conversation around dementia, raising awareness of the condition and the support available and reducing stigma.