Kids fell over advertising hoardings as they reached for the ball in a game devoid of boundary ropes after Glenn McGrath shoved Matthew Hayden to send hearts into a flutter.
These were the halcyon days of Australian cricket, when the rest were good enough to beat England's best.
Perhaps not since the summer of 1994-95, when Australia A reached the final of a one-day series against Australia after disposing of England and Zimbabwe, has there been so much intrigue about those knocking on the door of the national side.
Now an all-Australian showdown will shape the squad which could leave the greatest mark on Tim Paine's legacy as a Test captain, and on Justin Langer's as coach.
Cricket Australia's national selection panel has settled on a list of 25 names designed to secure the nation's first Ashes series triumph abroad in 18 years.
They will whittle the names down to 16 after Australia battles Australia A in a four-day match in Southampton from July 23. With that comes a raft of subplots.
First there is Cameron Bancroft looking to force his way back into the Test XI following his exile for the infamous ball tampering saga.
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The 26-year-old has forced his way into calculations for a place alongside David Warner at the top of Australia's batting order having averaged 49.55 in Sheffield Shield and County cricket since his ban ended in December.
But Warner is the only opening option whose selection could be considered a fait accompli.
Bancroft is racing Joe Burns and Marcus Harris to join Warner in the middle at Edgbaston on August 1.
Harris looked solid in his first foray into the Test arena but failed to rubber stamp his place with a ton. He has scored three first class centuries since - and went within one shot of scoring two more.
Burns rose from the dust of his past to breathe fire into his future to close out this past summer in Canberra with his Test career not just resurrected, but his lease on it seemingly renewed.
Four Test centuries in 16 outings suggests he may be fit for an investment.
Though that is not to discount what Bancroft had achieved prior to the Cape Town drama which derailed Australian cricket.
"He's got on with business since he's been able to play again," chief selector Trevor Hohns said.
"He is doing all he can to get himself back into the Australian squad. Even going back further, Cameron was making a fair amount of headway when he last played Test cricket for Australia."
Should he return to the Test XI, Bancroft must brace for the barrage of abuse heading his way via the vocal chords of the Barmy Army. Warner and Steve Smith already have risen above it.
Usman Khawaja is the man Australia wants at No. 3, though question marks remain over his fitness after a hamstring strain brought an end to his World Cup campaign. If he isn't fit, Marnus Labuschagne looms as the perfect replacement.
Smith is a certainty at second drop in his return to Test cricket. After him comes versatile batsman Travis Head.
Then there is the man you can no longer ignore in Matthew Wade. The second highest run-scorer in last season's Sheffield Shield was supposedly batting too far down the order, but runs keep piling up.
But what about incumbent No. 6 Kurtis Patterson? This game is vital for him.
Having Wade on tour gives Australia cover should something happen to the next man in the order, gloveman Paine.
Mitchell Starc and Patrick Cummins are locks to spearhead Australia's attack with Nathan Lyon to assume the spinner's role.
Who rounds out the fast-bowling cartel?
Welcome back, James Pattinson. His Test record is exceptional - 70 wickets at 26.15 in a career plagued by injury - and his pace and swing would be a major coup.
"The wickets over there are really suited to swing bowling. Overcast conditions, it starts to swing around with the Duke ball," Fox Cricket's Brendon Julian said.
"We often do that in England, we pick a couple more seamers and swingers than we do guys that bang it into the pitch."
Ousting Josh Hazlewood is a massive call, but he will be on tour and likely feature. That leaves one fast-bowling berth open, with Jackson Bird, Michael Neser, Peter Siddle and Chris Tremain in contention.
"There are still some positions up for grabs. It won't just come down to this game either," Hohns said.
"We have home history to go on and what's happening here with Australia A. But we need to make sure we are picking blokes that are performing in English conditions."
There is no shortage of men looking to make the most of their final chance to do so.
AUSTRALIA'S 25-MAN SQUAD
Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, Kurtis Patterson, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain, Matthew Wade, David Warner.