The Ashes is the name for the Test match series between old time rivals England and Australia. They play for a trophy - a small urn which stays at the Marylebone Cricket Club at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The Ashes legend was born in 1882, when the English cricket team was beaten by Australia for the first time on its own soil. Two days later, a mock obituary in the Sporting Times declared the death of English Cricket (see image).
The obituary also stated that the body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. Following this, the English media called the next tour to Australia by England as the quest to regain the ashes
The term “The Ashes” came from a satirical obituary published in The Sporting Times, a British newspaper, right after Australia won the 1882 game at The Oval. It was Australia's first Test win on English soil. In the obituary, it said that English cricket had died and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. These mythical ashes then became connected with the 1882-1883 series that was played in Australia, before which the English captain Ivo Bilgh had promised to “regain those ashes”. English media then dubbed the tour the quest to regain the Ashes. (see more about the Ashes history).
During the 1882-83 cricket tour, a small terracotta urn was presented to the English Captain Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women including Florence Morphy, who Bligh married after a year.
Inside the urn were ashes of a wooden ball and were humorously described as “the ashes of Australian cricket.” It was not clear if the “tiny silver urn” is similar to the small terracotta urn that was handed to the MCC by Bligh’s widow after his death in 1927.
Following this, the urn disappeared for many years, reappearing in 1927 when it was presented to the Marylebone Cricket Club, where it has been held ever since.