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Playing for the Ashes 

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | Episode aired 10 March 2003
1:32 | Trailer
Lynley seeks the help of profiler Helen Clyde when he investigates the asphyxiation death of superstar cricketer with a dysfunctional personal life.


Richard Spence


Elizabeth George (novel), Kate Wood (screenplay)


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Clare Swinburne Clare Swinburne ... Gabriella Patten
Mark Anthony Brighton ... Kenneth Waring (as Mark Brighton)
Nathaniel Parker ... Thomas Lynley
Sharon Small ... Barbara Havers
Andrew Havill ... Inspector Ardery
Lesley Vickerage ... Helen Clyde
Ruth Gemmell ... Jeannie Waring
William Scott-Masson William Scott-Masson ... Official
Phyllis Logan ... Miriam Whitelaw
Joe Duttine Joe Duttine ... Chris Faraday
Neve McIntosh ... Olivia Whitelaw
Curtis Flowers Curtis Flowers ... Jimmy Waring
Daisy Beaumont Daisy Beaumont ... Amanda
Peter Crawford Peter Crawford ... Newscaster
Andrew Clover Andrew Clover ... Hugh Patten


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When England cricketer Kenneth Waring dies of asphyxiation after a fire is set at a friend's house, the police have no doubt they are dealing with murder. The house belonged to Waring's patron and close friend Miriam Whitelaw who had a visitor the evening Waring died, her estranged daughter Olivia. Waring was separated from his wife Jeannie and had recently given her divorce papers. As well, his lover and agent Gabriella Patten, the ex-wife of a cricket teammate, has gone missing. Miriam had recently been attacked by animal rights activists which, unbeknown to her, included her daughter. When Waring's son confesses to the murder, Lynley has his doubts. Lynley decides they need a profiler on the case and not surprisingly hires Helen Clyde for the job but things don't go very well. Havers moves into her new flat. Written by garykmcd

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Not Rated

Did You Know?


During the episode, Inspector Lynley watches clips of a cricket match that purportedly features the murdered Kenneth Waring. However, only the close-up shots in the match are of Waring (when he is batting). The rest of the clippings pertain to the 3rd test of the 1992 series between England and Pakistan played at Old Trafford, Manchester. The brief score displayed matches the score of this game. In fact, one can easily figure out that the bowler bowling is Pakistani speedster Wasim Akram, who (on screen) is referred to with different names. See more »


Thomas Lynley: Helen, I have respect for you on every level, but this is a murder case. It's not about us.
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User Reviews

Edgy characters make interesting background for murder...
25 December 2007 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

NATHANIEL PARKER and SHARON SMALL are not exactly a plausible pair as detectives, but the script makes use of their odd personality quirks and provides a few moments of genuine humor. The plot concerns the death of a young cricket player and the assorted characters who had something to do with his rather unhappy past.

The performances are all first rate, especially NEVE McINTOSH as Olivia, a young woman who holds the secret to what really happened when the man was murdered. NATHANIEL PARKER lends his strong presence to the role of Inspector Lynley and is believable as a man determined to get to the bottom of a messy murder.

All the red herrings are nicely planted. Well done in good British style.

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Official Sites:

BBC drama official website





Release Date:

10 March 2003 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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