|Full name||Ashley Fraser Giles|
|Nickname||Gilo, Skinny, Splash|
|Born||March 19 1973|
|Chertsey, Surrey, England|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Bowling style||Slow left arm orthodox|
|Test debut (cap 590)||2 July 1998: v South Africa|
|Last Test||1 December 2006: v Australia|
|ODI debut (cap 145)||24 May 1997: v Australia|
|Last ODI||12 July 2005: v Australia|
|Domestic team information|
|1993 – 2007||Warwickshire|
Ashley Fraser Giles MBE (born in Chertsey, Surrey, on 19 March, 1973) is a retired English cricketer who played Test cricket for England and county cricket for Warwickshire. Giles began as a fast bowler, but an early injury forced him to become a left-arm orthodox spinner (turning the ball away from right-handed batsmen). While his inability to get the ball to turn sharply had been criticised, he was also able to use his height (6' 4") to extract plenty of bounce. He was awarded the NBC Denis Compton Award during the 1996-1997 season. Between the winter tours of 2000-01 and the emergence of Monty Panesar prior to the 2006-2007 Ashes series, he was England's first-choice spin bowler. As a batsman, he scored three first-class centuries and had a Test average around 20, though he never hit a Test century.
Until 2004, his most successful bowling had been in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In July 2004, he took 9-210 in the first Test at Lord's (including his 100th Test wicket, Brian Lara) and 9-122 in the second Test at Edgbaston, and was instrumental in England beating the West Indies twice. In that series he gained the nickname "King of Spain", after a set of mugs ordered in 2000 had been erroneously printed with that slogan, instead of "King of Spin". There were originally only 2 of these mugs produced, one of which Giles used for his coffee in the dressing room (this mug was subsequently stolen), and another on display in the club shop. He was, until that successful run of form, also gently derided by commentators: the BBC's Test Match Special commentator Henry Blofeld famously labelled him a "Wheelie Bin" because of his trundling run-up, much to Giles' disgust. Blofeld however, a traditionally affable character, insisted that the moniker was not malicious. (It was originally bestowed on Giles by Guardian journalist David Hopps.)
In 2005, he was named as one of five cricketers of the year by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. In the 2005 Ashes series, Giles captured the wickets of all of the top Australian batsmen at least once during the series, hit the winning runs in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge to give England a 2-1 lead, and contributed a Test-best 59 runs and a century partnership with Kevin Pietersen to ensure the draw in the final Test at The Oval and a 2-1 series victory. However, his ten wickets in the series came at a high average of 57.80.
In February 2006, a recurring hip injury forced Giles out of both the Test and ODI sections of England's tour to India that year. His number 8 spot was taken first by left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell and then fast bowler Liam Plunkett, and Giles admitted that left-arm spinner Monty Panesar was another threat to his place. In the final Test, veteran off-break bowler Shaun Udal replaced him, with some success. In the Tests of summer 2006, whilst Giles was injured for the entire season, Panesar played against both Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with conspicuous success. On 24 April 2006, Giles gave an interview stating that although he had at one point feared his career might be in danger, he was now "a lot more confident and happy" after being diagnosed with a sportman's hernia. At the end of October 2006, after spending time in India with the England Champions Trophy squad, Giles was passed fit for selection, and took Panesar's place in the team for the first Test at Brisbane. However, he was dropped for the 3rd test in the series, with Panesar reclaiming his place.
Giles flew home from the 2006 Ashes tour of Australia on 1 December in order to care for his wife who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was not selected for England's 2007 World Cup squad, nor in their 2007 summer performance squad. On Warwickshire's pre-season tour he suffered some hip discomfort, which revealed a need for an operation. It kept him out for most of the 2007 English county series, and on August 9, Giles officially announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, following advice from doctors in light of his injury. His invaluable contributions with the bat and ball will be best remembered in his performance in the 2005 Ashes series.
Giles is a resident of Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, where he was recently made an honorary citizen by the mayor. In the 2006 New Year Honour's List, Ashley Giles was awarded an MBE for his role in the successful Ashes winning squad. He is married to a former Norwegian waitress, Stine Osland, and they have two children, Anders Fraser and Matilde.
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England squad - 2003 World Cup