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The Ashes

The first 'ASHES' cricket series took place in 1882, and is a 5 day test cricket series played between England and Australia.

The urn that contains the ashes, believed to be a bail, is housed at the MCC museum of cricket. The series is played in alternate countries every 18 - 30 months as it is a north/south hemisphere contest. As from the 1998/9 series, which Australia won 4-0, a Waterford crystal replica of the urn is presented to the winning captain.

The term of the 'ASHES' came about when Australia beat England in England at the Oval cricket ground in August 1882, and a local journalist for The Sporting Times newspaper wrote 'English cricket had died and the body will be cremated and the ASHES taken to Australia'. In 1903 the England captain, Pelham Warner took a team to Australia vowing to bring back 'The Ashes' to England, which he succeeded in doing.

The 'Ashes' has been vigorously contested by both teams over the years, and in the 1932/3 season a furore broke out with England adopting the 'Body Line' tactics, that politicians ultimately had to intervene to pour oil on stormy waters. The 'Body Line', or leg theory as it was known, was to get the pace bowlers to bowl at the batsmens bodies causing them to defend themselves with the bat, and the fielding side to 'pack' the short on side field for easy catches. When the English captain, Bill Jardine, was asked for his comments his answer was 'I've not travelled 6000 miles to make friends. I'm here to win 'THE ASHES'.

There have been many super stars over the years, Don Bradman, Australian batsman extrodinaire, who finished his cricketing career with a batting average of 99.94, and the realisation that teams needed the pairing of good 'quickies', and so we got the births of Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller(Australian), Frank Tyson and Brian Statham (England), and more recently Jeff Thompson and Denis Lillee(Australian).

Then came along a blond haired kid called Shane Warne who bowled 'LEGGIES', and is the leading wicket taker (195), who made his Ashes debut in the 1993 series. His first delivery in this series is known as the 'ball of the century' when he bowled England batsman Mike Gatting with a ball that pitched outside leg stump, took the bails of his off stump, bowling him around his legs.

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