The History of the Ashes Test Series
The Ashes Test Series is one of the most prestigious cricket events in the world. The series is played between Australia and England and is held every two years. This historic rivalry between the two nations dates back to 1882 and continues to be one of the most fiercely contested tournaments in cricket. From its inception, the Ashes Test Series has captured the imagination of cricket fans from all over the world. In this article, we will take a look at the history of this great cricket event.
The concept of the Ashes came about during England’s tour of Australia in 1882. In a match played at The Oval in London, Australia defeated England for the first time on English soil. The following day, the Sporting Times published a satirical obituary, stating that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.
When the Australian team toured England in 1882, the English captain, Ivo Bligh, vowed to “regain those ashes”. The series was played in England, and the Australians won the first match at The Oval. In the second match, England won, and the third game was tied. The Australians won the fourth match to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The final game, played at The Oval, was won by England. Bligh was presented with a small urn containing the ashes of a burnt bail to symbolize the “ashes” that he had promised to bring back to England.
The Ashes trophy is not the official prize award. It is a small terracotta urn that was presented to Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women following the 1882-3 tour. The urn is kept in the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Museum at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The urn is only brought out on special occasions and is never awarded to the winners of the series.
The Ashes Test Series resumed in 1884-85 when the Australians hosted England. The series ended in a 3-2 win for England. The teams did not play another Test series until 1891-92, when the Australians visited England once again. They played a three-match series, and all three games were drawn. It was not until the 1894-95 series in Australia that a team other than England or Australia played in the Ashes. South Africa joined the series, but it was still contested between England and Australia.
The early years of the Ashes series were dominated by the Australians. Between 1877 and 1912, they won the series on eight occasions. During this period, the Australians were led by some of the greatest cricketers of all time, including Fred Spofforth, Victor Trumper, and Warwick Armstrong.
The tide began to turn in the 1920s when England won three consecutive Ashes series. They were led by Jack Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe, and their captain, Arthur Carr. The Australians regained the Ashes in 1930, and the series has been contested every two years since then, except during the two World Wars.
In the 1948 series, Don Bradman, the greatest cricketer of them all, led Australia to victory in England. It was his final Ashes series, and it was marked by the famous speech he gave to his teammates before the final game at The Oval. Bradman needed only four runs to end his Test career with a batting average of 100, but he was dismissed for a duck in his final innings. The Australians won the game and the series, but Bradman’s dismissal added to the legend of the Ashes series.
The 1950s were a golden period for Australian cricket, as they won four consecutive series. They were led by Richie Benaud, a magnificent leg-spinner and one of the greatest captains of all time. The 1960s and 70s saw a return to England dominance, with the likes of Colin Cowdrey, David Gower and Ian Botham leading the way. However, the 1980s saw another Australian resurgence, with Allan Border and his team winning three consecutive series between 1989 and 1993.
The 21st Century has seen some of the closest and most thrilling Ashes series. In 2005, England won the Ashes for the first time since 1987, and the series was hailed as one of the greatest of all time. In 2009, the Australians regained the Ashes, but they were beaten again by England in 2010-11. The 2013 series was another close affair, with England retaining the Ashes by winning the first three Tests and drawing the fourth.
The Ashes Test Series is a tournament that has captured the imagination of cricket fans for over a century. It is steeped in history and tradition, and every player who has ever taken part in the series has been part of one of the greatest sporting rivalries of all time. The tournament continues to be fiercely contested, and it remains a highlight of the cricketing calendar for fans all over the world.