Definition & Guide | What Are Ashes in Cricket?

In this brief post, we will tackle what are ashes in cricket sports. Read this for more information.

Cricket Ashes is one of the high-voltage matches around the world. This match always has another type of excitement and specialty. And that specialty makes it different from the other cricket matches. Many people have a huge curiosity about this Ashes match. Especially among the kids, the questions regarding the Ashes are endless. So, those who do not know about the international Ashes matches will get their satisfactory knowledge in this article. Here we will discuss the Ashes series’ definition, historical background, and other sides.

What is the Cricket Ashes series?

Ashes are the special series of cricket matches between Australia and England. It is considered cricket’s most historic rivalry and one of the longest-running sports series. These 2 countries meet roughly every gap of 2 years, with the champions grabbing one of the most famous trophies in cricket – the Ashes urn. It is held in England and Australia alternately. England is hosting the matches this time.

Definition & guide:

The ‘Ashes’ was introduced into practice after England’s cricket team lost to Australia for the first time in the home of England. The match was held at The Oval on 29th August 1882. Ever since, the 2 sides have competed for one of cricket’s highest titles, ‘The Ashes’. Till now, 325 tests have been played in the century-old series. Australia leads their English counterparts with 130 wins, while England has won on 106 occasions. However, 89 matches between the sides have ended in a draw. England is the current host of the cricket Ashes, winning the 2015 series.

After the humiliating loss in 1882, England was triumphant in the next 8 series, during which they lost only 4 out of the 22 matches. A day after the memorable defeat, the esteemed daily ‘Sporting Times’ carried a mock obituary stating that the body of English cricket would be cremated and the ashes would be taken to Australia. After a few months, England’s captain Hon Ivo Bligh led his English cricket team to Australia. Before leaving his country, the captain promised to take back ‘the ashes.’ However, the Australian captain, WL Murdoch, vowed to defend it with everything.

Over the decades, it has become one of the most traditional and prestigious cricket prizes. The location for the matches rotates between England and Australia. It is a series of total of 5 test matches. There is a myth that the real Ashes, an urn thought to contain the ashes of a pair of real stump bails used in, were gifted to Bligh by a group of Melbourne ladies. The winning side achieves a replica of the urn. The fragile original one can be seen in the Museum of Cricket at Lord’s.

The Urn of Ashes:

It took many years before the clashes between Australia and England were consistently called “The Ashes.” So, there was no concept of a trophy or a physical representation of the ashes.

Lord Darnley died in 1927. His widow presented the urn to the MCC. It was first shown in the long room before it was shifted to the Museum. The urn has twice left Lord’s to travel to Australia – in 1988 as part of Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations to celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of British convict ships in Sydney. Again in 2006-07, during that summer’s Test series between the 2 nations, it was brought out.

However, the Ashes urn is not the so-called trophy played for between both sides. The MCC introduced a trophy played for in a series between England and Australia from 1998-99. That trophy is the larger model of the urn in Waterford Crystal.

Few more:

The first eighteen cricket Ashes series between England and Australia featured thirteen English wins before the legend of The Ashes was born. In the immediate aftermath of World War- 1, Australia won 8 Tests in a row, including the first-ever whitewash in a 5-match series in 1920-21.

The 1932-33 series in Australia witnessed England regain The Ashes title of a 4-1 series success that featured the typical ‘Bodyline’ tactic, with England’s seam bowlers often aiming the bodies of the Australian batters rather than their wickets.

English skipper Douglas Jardine developed the mentality to lessen the effectiveness of Australia’s greatest player, Donald Bradman. His pacers, Bill Voce and Harold Larwood, could deliver the tactics effectively.

Wrapping words:

Cricket Ashes is one of the traditional series played only between England and Australia. Needless to say, millions of fans wait so eagerly to witness the greatest rivalry in cricket history.

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