The Ashes Match Series In Review
The biennial Ashes series sees national teams from England and Australia facing off. The match series, which was first held in 1882, pits English and Australian cricket teams against each other to see which nation will be victorious. The first test match between the two countries took place in 1877.
The series gets its name from an epitaph that was published back in 1882, after the first time that a team from Australia triumphed over a team from England. According to the epitaph, English cricket was now dead, and its ashes would have to be shipped to Australia. Even though England went on to win that year’s match series, the epitaph is considered to be a definitive moment in cricket history.
In 1883, an urn containing the ashes of a wicket ball was actually sent to Australia. This urn was given to the captain of the touring English team in Australia. Today, the urn is stored at Lord’s Cricket Ground, which is the official headquarters of the Marylebone Cricket Club.
Both England and Australia have seen many victories at Ashes. Australia won the match for the first time in 1891 and started a winning streak in 1897. While England seemed to have a clear advantage in the earlier years of the match series, that has since changed. Today, the two nations seem to alternate winning the match. England claimed victory in 2015, while Australia won in the 2017-2018 series. England has won 32 series in total, Australia has won 32, and six series have been declared a draw.
The early years of the match series have often been described as a quest to recover the ashes. Australia was able to win the first test of the series by nine wickets, but England took the next two wins. England was believed to have won back the ashes by the third match. However, a fourth match was played, and Australia managed a win.
From 1884 to 1896, England dominated the series. In 1896, under captain W.G. Grace, England won the series 2-1. This is the longest stretch of time that England has dominated over Australia. Australia won the 1897–98 by 4–1 under captain Harry Trott. He was succeeded by Joe Darling, who managed to lead Australia to wins in the next three series.
In more recent years, both teams have seen many wins and losses. England was undefeated in the test matches that were held in 2004. However, Australia managed to take back the ashes while playing a home game in the 2006-2007 series. They had an impressive 5-0 victory.
Although England won the Cricket World Cup in 2019, Australia gave them a run for their money in the 2019 Ashes series. Some of Australia’s top batsmen, like David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, were banned from playing international cricket at the time. While Australia was poised to win, England managed to win the last two matches of the series, resulting in the first draw that the Ashes match series had seen since 1972.