A look at the interesting facts about The Ashes
Australia and England are set to square off in the upcoming Ashes series. The first Test of the five-match series begins on December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane. In 2019, Australia retained the Ashes title after the series got drawn 2-2. The two teams will yet again battle it out for the historic urn. Here, we decode the interesting fact about the Ashes.
Why does it matter?
- The Ashes, a Test series played between England and Australia, has a significant history.
- It is regarded as one of the most competitive rivalries in the format.
- The two nations take on each other in an epic five-match Test series.
- The Ashes series is held at least once every two years, alternatively by England and Australia.
The origin of Ashes
The term 'Ashes' was first used in a derisive obituary published in a British newspaper after Australia won the Oval Test (1882), their first Test win on English soil. It stated English cricket had died and its "body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia". Thereafter, then-English captain, Ivo Bligh, had vowed to "regain those ashes".
Basic facts about the Ashes
The first Ashes Test was played way back in 1882. England won the inaugural series by a 2-1 margin. The Ashes generally comprises five Test matches, as the gap between the two series is usually 18 to 30 months. The team which wins the series takes the Ashes home. However, if a series gets drawn, then the current holder retains the urn.
The history of 'Urn'
The side which wins the Ashes series is presented with the urn. Notably, the urn has not always been the official trophy. It was first presented to Bligh by his fiancée, Florence Morphy. The urn, which is made of Waterford Crystal, became official in the 1998/99 series. Notwithstanding, the original urn remains in the MCC Museum at Lord's.
A look at the other facts
England have never completed a whitewash against Australia in the Ashes history. Their best result was in 1978/79 (5-1). The 1948 Australian team captained by Sir Donald Bradman didn't lose a single Test during their tour of England. This saw them earn the title, 'The Invincibles'. Various people regarded the 1948 side as the best-ever cricket team. Bradman's side won the series 4-0.