The Ashes

England and Australia are the only two countries to participate in The Ashes, a Test cricket series.

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 their first Test win on English land. 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.

When England won two out of three Tests during the tour, there was a small urn that was presented to 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.ashes

The urn was never an official trophy for The Ashes series, because it was a personal gift to Bligh. There were replicas that were being handed out to winning teams as a symbol of victory during the series.

From the 1998-1999 Ashes series, a Waterford Crystal representation of the Ashes urn (called the Ashes trophy) has been given to the victors of the Ashes series, as the official trophy.

The original urn remains in the MCC Museum but was taken to Australia to be put on display during two occasions – Australian Bicentenary celebrations in1998 and to The Ashes accompaniment in 2006-2007
There are five Tests during The Ashes series. England and Australia take turns in hosting the even every four years.

The Ashes is held by the team who won the last Test series or if it is a tie, the team that last won the series.

The latest winning country was Australia, during the December 2013 Ashes Series.

Related Pages

Popular Pages


Major Events Extra

The biggest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. To see the action, check out calendar of major sporting events.

How to Cite