“People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes – Abigail Van Buren”
The Ashes Tournament stands to demonstrate cricket’s deep reaching roots in the firm soil of history. Named after test matches between England and Australia, the history of Ashes smacks of pungent English pride and it domination into cricket. It is held in every two years and the venue alternates between the two countries. The team which wins the test series retains the Ashes Urn, and in case of a drawn series, the winner of the previous series keeps it till the next series.
It all started with a mock obituary in the Sporting Times by sub-editors of a newspaper to the English cricket with the following words- “English Supremacy in the Cricket Field which expired on the 29th day of August at the Oval” for England’s shocking first defeat in a home Test against Australia by 7 runs at the Oval in 1882. It threatens England’s supremacy in cricket. When enthusiastic England players were preparing to tour Australia the following year, the English newspapers added drama to the forthcoming series by naming it as the quest to regain The Ashes of English Cricket.
The message impelled a group of Australian women to present the honourable Ivo Bligh, then England tour captain, with an urn the following winter, which is reputed to contain either the ashes of a ball, a bail or a veil, depending on which legend you believe. The team was led by him won the series by 2-1 and they regained cricket supremacy.
Though the urn is believed to be the trophy for the Ashes, but it has never been officially announced. Ivo Bligh took it as a personal gift, but the replicas are given to the victorious teams as a symbol of their victory. After the demise of Ivo Bligh in 1923, his widow donated it to Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord’s.
After the World war-1, Australia dominates the overall wins in Ashes with 123 and England has won 100 matches so far since 1882-2011. 87 matches were drawn. Australia has won 31 series and England 30. The remaining four were drawn. England are the current holders of the Ashes with wins in 2009 and 2010-11 series.