England batsman Ollie Pope believes the Ashes this summer will match the excitement and entertainment of the legendary 2005 series.
England, which currently has 10 wins from 11 Tests, will attempt to reclaim the urn from world number one Australia.
England won the Ashes for the first time in 17 years in 2005, winning 2-1 in one of the greatest series of all time.
“It’s simply something to look forward to. “This summer has the potential to be incredible,” Pope said.
England’s first-ever Test victory over New Zealand in Mount Manganui on Sunday was their sixth in a row, their longest streak since 2010.
If they win the second and final Test in Wellington, which begins on Friday (22:00 GMT Thursday), they will have seven wins in a row for the first time since 2004, when Michael Vaughan’s team won eight in a row leading up to their 2005 victory over Australia.
Though Pope stated that the current England team is “not really talking about” the Ashes, he admitted that the series is “naturally” on their minds.
“That’s the pinnacle, what everyone wants to be a part of,” the 25-year-old told BBC Radio 4’s Today. Everyone wants to take possession of the urn.
“It could be really entertaining, like that 2005 series that made me fall in love with cricket. That is a very exciting prospect.”
The match in Wellington is England’s final winter Test. They begin their home summer with a one-off Test against Ireland on 1 June, followed by a five-match series against Australia at Edgbaston on 16 June.
Jonny Bairstow, the batter, should be ready for the summer after being out since September with a broken leg sustained in a golfing accident.