The Glorious History of the Ashes

07 Jul 2009 by Jack in The Ashes

Ashes Series since 1882

The Ashes has a great history of test cricket and is one of the most intense rivalries between England and Australia that has a glorious history attached to it. This cricket series dates back to 1882 and since then there has been a struggle to show supremacy by both Australian and English players. The Ashes test series is a biennially held event that is held in these two countries during the summer season. The term Ashes is used for the test series since 29 August 1882. This was the first time that the English cricket team had lost to Australia in its own backyard and the English media presented a mock obituary citing the death of English cricket. The media reported that English cricket has died and that the ashes will be taken to Australia for cremation.

This test series is usually comprised of five test matches that actually began when the English media started publishing reports of how the English players were geared up to regain the ashes in the next series played between these two countries in 1882-83. During this tour, the English captain was presented with a small terracotta urn by a group of women to symbolize the journey that the English men had made to regain the Ashes. Historians believe that this urn contains the ashes of a cricket item, which could possibly be the bail. However, there are chances of the ashes being that of a ball or stump as well.

Cricket Ashes

This urn has been thought of being the trophy for the Ashes series, which is not true since the English captain always recognized the urn as his own personal gift. Though the urn was handed over to the MCC, the same was not recognized formally as the Ashes trophy. However, players are often seen holding the replicas of this urn to symbolize their victory over the opposition in the Ashes tournament. This Ashes urn remains in the MCC museum in Lord’s for visitors to have a look and learn about the glorious history of the Ashes. From 1998-99 onwards a crystal replica of the urn has been set as the Ashes trophy that has been recognized as the official symbol of the Ashes series.

Cup for Ashes SeriesDuring the late part of the 1990’s it was decided that the English and Australian cricket team would compete for an official trophy for this tournament. The ECB and CA, the governing body of cricket in both the countries came with the solution of creating the official Ashes trophy, which was the crystal-based replica of the Ashes urn. This trophy was first lifted by the Australian team in the 1998-99 series under the leadership of Mark Taylor. Since then it has been the tradition to present this trophy to the winning side after each series. The trophy remains in the country, which wins the test series.

In recent times, the trophy is with the Australian cricket team after they beat England 5-0 in the 2006-07 test series. The Ashes trophy is currently being held by the Australian captain Ricky Pointing who is looking forward to defend the trophy in England this summer as the two teams face off in another intense set of cricket matches. Whatever be the result the contribution made by this series to test cricket cannot be ignored. Many similar cricket series have been started like the one between India and Australia for the Border-Gavaskar trophy. However, the charm of the Ashes remains as the legend of this tournament keeps motivating players on both sides to perform to the best of their abilities and regain glory for their country.


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