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What is The Ashes Cricket Series?
The Ashes is a Test cricket series between England and Australia. The name derives from the name of the urn that is regarded as the trophy held by the winning team. It’s one of sports oldest and fiercest rivalries.
When are The Ashes Cricket Series played?
The Ashes cricket series is contested every two years, the Australian home series usually takes place during the summer down under from November to early January. In England the series generally takes place between July and August. The Ashes cricket series consists of five test matches which can last up to five days. The next edition of The Ashes cricket series begins on June 16th 2023 at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England.
History of The Ashes Cricket Series
The Ashes cricket series dates back as far as 1882, the name originates from a satirical newspaper article that appeared after England’s defeat lamenting the death of English cricket going on to say that the body will be cremated and “the Ashes will be taken to Australia”. The following tour to Australia was then seen as England’s quest to regain those Ashes. The series has been contested on 72 occasions with the Australian cricket team enjoying slightly more success with victories in 34 of those series to England’s 32 with 6 ending as a draw.
Top run scorer in The Ashes Cricket Series
When you talk about great players throughout the history of the game one man stands a long way ahead of the rest. The great Don Bradman averaged a remarkable 99.9 in Test Cricket, nearly 40 runs more than anyone else to ever play the game. He was a prolific Ashes runs scorer making 5028 runs between 1928-48, more than anyone else. His 19 centuries (in just 37 Tests) is also an Ashes record.
Top Wicket taker in The Ashes Series
Australia were the dominant force in World cricket for around a decade from mid nineties and this in no small part down to having one the greatest leg spin bowlers to ever play the game. Shane Warne tormented many an England batsman during Ashes series taking a record 195 wickets at an average of 23.25. He introduced himself to Ashes cricket with his first ball, a prodigiously turning leg break that pitched way outside of England batsman Mike Gatting’s leg stump to hit the top of off, a delivery regarded as ‘the ball of the century’.
Memorable Games in The Ashes Cricket Series
Things were going badly for Ian Botham in 1981. The England cricket team had lost the first Test heavily at Lords and he had stepped down as captain. Things weren’t going much better in the second Test at Headingley when England were seemingly facing heavy defeat following on in the second innings when bowler Graham Dilley joined Botham at the crease with England on 135 for 7 still 92 behind and facing an almost certain innings defeat. What followed will go down in folklore with Botham smashing a swashbuckling 149 not out, England’s lead was just 129 though which didn’t seem enough, that was until Bob Willis bowled a remarkable spell of 8 for 43 giving England the most unlikely of victories by 18 runs.
The Ashes cricket series is always fiercely contested but the 1932-33 series in Australia even threatened to sour diplomatic relations between the two countries due to England’s controversial ‘Bodyline’ tactics. The theory was to bowl the ball in pace at the batters body with several fielders set on close on the legside to catch deflections. Several Australian batters were hit, angering spectators close to the point of riots with many believing the tactic was against the spirit of the game. The tactic actually resulted in changes of the laws of the game to prevent teams exploiting this in the future.
Similar competitions to The Ashes Cricket Series
The Ashes is a Test series like the Border Gavaskar Trophy, those interested in this may also be interested in that section. Not only this but there are a whole host of series and team break downs also at Cricket Today!