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The Ashes 2019: a long history

May 21, 2019 3 min to read

The Ashes: A cricket event in which England and Australia compete for the ultimate victory in the form of an 11 cm tall trophy. This August and September the event will take place for the 71st time and will be hosted by England. The two competing countries take turns hosting the sports event. The last series took place in the winter of 2017-2018 in Australia. The cricket event has been around for quite some time now, so let’s take a look at the event’s history to see what this year’s odds for both teams are.

The name

The Ashes got his name quite a while ago as well when England lost the match to its opponent, Australia, on home territory. The satirical obituary that was placed in next day’s newspaper read: ‘English cricket has died, the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.’ When England’s captain, Ivo Bligh, promised to bring the so-called Ashes back home the year after, the Australian media picked up on the name as well and the cricket event would from 1882 then go on as ‘The Ashes’.

The mythical ashes were first associated with the cricket match between Australia and England in 1882 after the obituary appeared in the British newspaper. Nowadays, the winners of the event will actually receive a small urn, which is a replica of the original urn of ashes which was given to Bligh by a group of women from Melbourne. The original urn resides in the cricket museum in Lord’s. Nobody’s sure what exactly is in the urn, some speculated the contents is the ashes of a bail, which is used in a game of cricket. Others believe the original urn contains ashes of another item of cricket equipment like a stump or a ball.

cricket batsman player

The Test matches

Before the name came around, several Test matches between England and Australia were played in the period between 1877 and 1882. However, you have to keep in mind that at this time a boat trip between Australia and England took about 48 days. Many cricket players were not willing or not able to go on this long and exhausting journey. The first Test match took place in Australia in 1877.

In 1882, Australia headed to England for what was supposed to be another round of Test matches. As explained before, England lost in a dramatically embarrassing way, which led to the renaming of the event: The Ashes. In the twenty years that followed, the name seemed to have disappeared from the world of cricket. It regained its popularity in 1899 when the term was used in the memoirs of cricket player George Giffen.

The two countries take turns hosting the event ever since the first match, which led to a tradition that is now 137 years old in which 70 series were played!

Today

Nowadays, both England and Australia keep on proving they’re a match for one another. Out of the 70 series that have been played Australia won 33 times, England took victory 32 times and in only 5 cases there was a draw. However, a different image appears when we’re looking at the teams and the number of Tests they won: Australian won 134 out of a total of 330 Tests played. England won 106 Tests and 90 of them ended in a draw. This year’s 71st edition on English territory will be one worth to follow

Will you be watching this year’s series of The Ashes? Which team do you feel will win and take The Ashes home? If you want to know more about The Ashes, you can read more about the contest overview here. If you have not done so yet, make sure to place your bets now. Check the latest Ashes 2019 odds here!

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Jip

Jip has been a dedicated yoga-teacher in practice and philosophy since 2011 when she first came across the lifestyle while backpacking through Asia and Australia.

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