England's cricket heroes and the nation were nursing an Ashes hangover today after wild celebrations of their historic victory.

Tens of thousands of fans will have woken up bleary-eyed after lining the streets of London yesterday to cheer on Michael Vaughan's team during an open-topped bus tour.

Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison celebrate their Ashes success

Many of the players were already the worse for wear before the jubilant scenes culminating in Trafalgar Square, with fans' favourite Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff unable to take off his sunglasses following a heavy night revelling in bars and nightclubs.

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He told the packed square that celebrating their triumph over Australia was already taking its toll: "To be honest with you I'm struggling, I've not been to bed yet and the eyes behind these glasses tell a thousand stories."

During a reception for the team at Downing Street later in the afternoon, prime minister Tony Blair asked Vaughan whether it had been a "hard night".

The skipper replied: "It was, sir, a few of players haven't slept as yet."

"At all?" an astonished Mr Blair asked.

Grinning, Vaughan said: "I'll let you decide which ones."

However, Australians seemed to have enjoyed the massive party rather less.

Speaking after a meeting in London yesterday, the country's foreign minister Alexander Downer said: "We understand only too well the great excitement there is in London with England winning the Ashes.

"For us, we drive past the celebrations as fast as our car will go."

Your views so far:

Angela Treesman, Clifton, Bristol: "I feel sorry for our cricketers. The celebration at Trafalgar Square is one thing, but nobody would have bothered about their condition if they Prime Minister hadn't tried to muscle in on their celebrations.

"The rugby players and Olympic team both had a couple of weeks to catch their breath before their bus tours of London. The cricketers, after two months of competition, only had a few hours."

J Thomas, Coventry: "Why would anyone have a go at England over this? They'd just won the Ashes back after 18-or-so years, what did people expect a group of young men to do? Sit round over a cuppa and have a chat about it. They've earned a drink."

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