The Ashes

England retain The AshesThe Ashes test series is the oldest and most intriguing rivalry in test cricket. The five test series is played between Australia and England every two years, with venues alternating between England and Australia.

The series is played according to the rules governing test cricket, with each side playing a maximum of two innings over five days. The holder of the Ashes retains the trophy if the test series ends in a draw. The Ashes boasts the best attendance and viewing figures in test cricket and is followed keenly not only by sports fans in both countries, but also in the rest of the world.

Ashes Betting

The Ashes - Australia v England 1st Test - 00:00
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The Ashes is the most important event in test cricket, and receives extensive coverage from bookmakers in the United Kingdom. Interest in the event spurs the creation of special betting markets, as well as free bet offers, whilst punters can also place many bets on virtually all aspects of play.

Ashes History

The history of the Ashes is thought to date back to the ninth test series played between England and Australia. At the time England and Australia were the only cricket teams participating in international fixtures, with England dominating the encounters between the two countries.

However, all this changed when Australia visited England in 1882 for a one-off test. The English slaughtered the Australian batting attack in the first innings, before putting up a modest first innings total of their own. The Australian team’s second innings saw them set the English a target of 85 runs, which they then defended successfully. This was thanks largely to the efforts of Frank Spofforth who took England’s final wicket, with the hosts still 7 runs short of the required total.

The win caused a sensation in the English papers, and before long several mocking obituaries of English cricket were published in the United Kingdom. One of these referred to the cremation of the remains of English cricket, and the series was henceforth called the Ashes.

It is believed that the infamous 1882 defeat which England suffered, led to the presentation of an urn containing the ashes of an unidentified piece of cricketing equipment to the English team. In 1927 the urn resurfaced, and was donated to the MCC where it has remained ever since. A crystal version of the urn is presented to the winning captain at the conclusion of each Ashes series.

Ashes Winners

Despite the fact that the Ashes has been dominated by Australia during the past two decades, the cumulative Ashes victories are still only moderately tilted in Australia’s favour, with the Australians having won 31 series to England’s 28.

England’s win in the 2005 Ashes prompted a massive resurgence of interest in the Ashes series around the world. England not only won the series for the first time in 18 years, but also scored a number of nail-biting wins, including a 2 run defeat of Australia in the second test. The series was only decided in the final test, with many commentators describing it as one of the greatest in the long history of the Ashes.

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