The most riveting and fiercest rivalry in cricketing history, ‘The Ashes’ was born exactly 140 years back on 29th August 1982. Iconically played between two leading Test playing nations, Australia and England, the championship is normally played during the English summer.
The competitive battle between England and Australia gave rise to the prestigious championship. Australia stunned England on their home soil by eight runs and tarnished the reputation of the creators of the game. Australia had toured England for a solitary test match.
Winning the toss and electing to field first, England overpowered Australia for a mere total of 63 runs. Frontline pacers Dick Barlow (5/19) and Ted Peate (4/31) did the trick for the hosts. Replying to a narrow total by the visitors, England skittled for 101 taking a meagre 38-run lead into the second innings.
Australia aimed to put pressure in the second innings but failed in their efforts and could put only a 126 on the board. Chasing a sluggish total of 86, England collapsed and was all-out for only 77 runs, giving Australia a historic 10-run win. Frederick Spofforth starred in the bowling attack to register a figure of 7/44.
The aftermath of the match didn’t go well for England. Severe criticism from the press and backlash by the fans had left a dampening impact on English cricket. The Sporting Times mentioned a derogatory statement mentioning that England cricket has died and the ashes will be taken to Australia for cremation. This is named the rivalry The Ashes which is played every year between the two sides.
To date, Australia and England have played a total of 72 Ashes series where England has a marginal lead by winning 34 of them against Australia’s 32. Six series have ended in a Draw. Legendary Australian batsman Don Bradman has been the most successful batsman in the championship.
The recently concluded Ashes 2022 was seized by Australia through a dominating 4-0 margin.
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