RIP : England Cricket Which died at the OVAL

Ashes Series Trophy

Ashes Series Trophy

29th August was the day, when English cricket was murdered ruthlessly at the Oval ground in 1882.  A test match was being played at Oval between the England and Australia. Australia was cleaned for 122 giving an easy target of 85 runs for victory. England started the innings in a spanking fashion and looked all set for victory at 51/2.

But after W.G Grace Exit on 32, Fred Spofforth nicknamed “Demon” rattled the entire team like a pack of cards, taking his team to first test win on English soil. He took 7/44 against England shivering the batsmen like a whispering death.

No one thought, a defeat can give birth to the greatest cricket rivalries of all time. After the humiliating defeat the Sporting Times published the following lines:

“In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances


N.B.-The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.”

English Newspaper on Ashes

The English pride was dented; they were starved for revenge and regain the lost pride and the Ashes. A year later, the English captain Ivo Bligh vowed to regain the Ashes in the upcoming series. The media overhyped the series by quoting it as war to regain the Ashes.

England took the revenge by winning two of the three tests of the series regaining the Ashes. After England victory, a wooden bail was burned in Australia in the memory of lost Ashes. The ashes were put in a terracotta urn and presented to the English captain Ivo Bligh by a few Melbourne ladies including Florence Morphy, whom Ivo Bligh married later in the year.

Also Check : 20 Lord’s Cricket Ground Facts that Will Make your Jaw Drop

It is believed the urn contains the ashes of the bail used in the third test, although there are few myths attached to it. It is believed the urn contains the remains of Lord Darnley veil. No one knows the truth. The urn later became a member of the MCC Cricket Club Museum.

The Australia demanded the urn many times claiming it as their property, but MCC refused to give. The controversy didn’t stop the players from both the team. Today is the 135th birthday of Ashes and will be played till the end of the world.

Australia always had the foot on England throat

australia ashes

Going through the 135 years long Ashes history, the cricket enthusiast realized the 135 year rivalry is an outcome of over exaggerated emotions and flooded expectations, nothing else. English Cricket couldn’t digest the defeat from inferior Australians and designed a revenge campaign to show Australia its true place.

This shows the hypocrisy of English cricket and their hunger to dominate the game as a super power. England wasn’t used to defeats, but the win of Australia gave rise to another emerging cricket power.

They won 8 consecutive Ashes series between 1882-1890 winning 16 test matches in total, but post 1890 the time took a leap turn. In 1891 Australia won their first Ashes series on their home turf defeating England.

England weren’t ready to get bullied. They bounced back in 1893 keeping an upper hand over Australia for the next 3 series easily defeating the kangaroos.

By 1897, the Australian team developed into a formidable side capable of defeating any opposition in the World. They dominated the Ashes for the next 5 years, winning 8 test matches and completely crushing the English side.

From 1902, it was like two boxers punching at each other. England won the next two Ashes series between 1903-05 both in England and Australia. Now it was the turn for Australia to knock out England. They won the next two Ashes series with better winning rate winning 6 test matches out of 10 both in England and Australia.

England took their revenge by winning the next two Ashes test series between 1911-12 winning 5 test matches out of 8. Post 1920, Australia team took the perfect measure of the English and won three consecutive Ashes series between the span of 5 years. They won 12 test matches out of 15 during the period. England only managed to win a single test during these 5 years.

The down and out England didn’t bow easily and won the next two Ashes test series, but not convincingly. The fear of failure and low self-belief was evident on their faces. Although, they won 5 test matches out of 10, but were no more a juggernaut and were challenged in almost every session of the game. Between 1882-1929 England won 45 test matches and Australia won 42 test matches. In the last 30 years Australia won 33 test matches surpassing England in total tally.

Basil D’Oliveira

In 1930, Australia won yet another Ashes series winning 2 test matches out of 5, but England regained the lost territory and won the next Ashes with the final tally of 4-1, but post 1934 it was all Australia reining the Ashes for the next 20 years. Between 1934-52 Australia won 5 Ashes test series out 6. One Ashes test series in 1938 resulted in a draw.

England for almost two decades were outshined by the glorious Australian victories and only came into the spotlight in 1953 after winning the Ashes series 1-0. It was a hard fought tussle, where both the oppositions weren’t ready to kneel. Finally, in a close shave England won.

A series win under England belt boosted their morale and low self-esteem. They throttled the Australia in the next 2 Ashes series, but the spectators and fanatics could see the decline of England supremacy.

For the next 10 years Australia completely outclassed England in all the departments winning 3 Ashes test series. The rest 3 test series resulted in a draw.

England after 10 years finally managed to win Ashes in 1971 winning 2 test matches out of 7. Australia immediately took away the Ashes urn from them winning the next two Ashes test series winning 8 test matches out of 15. 6 test matches resulted in a draw.

For the next 2 years, England worked on their game, going through the mental conditioning and fixing all the technical flaws. They knew it was just a matter of positive mindset and are capable of creating a setback in the Aussies camp. They won 3 consecutive Ashes test series between 1977-81 winning 11 test matches out of 17 proving their mettle over the Kangaroos.

During the next five years, Aussies tried their best to cover the lost ground, but only managed to win only 1 Ashes series out of 3 slowing losing their grip from the England’s throat.

The fresh blood came into the team giving the team a new vision and killer instinct to dominate not only the English, but the Cricket world. From 1989-2003, Australia did not lose a single Ashes series, winning 8 Ashes series in a row. Apart from their winning streak in tests, they won 2 World Cups during the period. This is called the glorious era of Australian cricket.

Australia in Ashes

The World saw the dawn of Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Glen McGrath, Mathew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and numerous players from Australia. The team not only conquered the English soil, but stamped their authority in every cricket nation excluding India. Whereas England team standard declined and they were left as a mediocre team.

The year 2005 saw the resurrection of the English team, finally defeating world champion Australia after a span of 15 years. The rejuvenated English team got under the skin of the Aussies after losing the first test. They won 2 test matches in the series finally reclaiming the Ashes after 1.5 decade. There were celebrations in the Country. Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Peterson were the trump cards of the series.

Australian team felt humiliated, insulted and were all charged up for the revenge next year. In 2006, they went for the clean sweep winning all the 5 test matches convincingly, taking the Ashes back from the England.

After all the stalwarts retirement Australia was no more a juggernaut and was going through the transition phase. England took the opportunity with both the hands. They won the next 3 Ashes test series easily outclassing Australia in all the departments. Australia domination was over. They were no more a world champion. They not only lost to England, but lost to most of the top cricket nations.

In 2013, Australia regrouped a tough team rising like a phoenix from the ashes and toppled the English team with 5-0 margin, yet another clean sweep for them. They regained the Ashes. The Mitchell Johnson terror was visible on Every English team player.

The glorified test victory didn’t last long. In 2015, England regained the Ashes in a close encountered series. A win is a win anyway. The final tally was 3-2.

This year in 2018, Australia regained the Ashes and is the current Ashes holder. They won the four test matches out of 5.

List of Ashes Records

Ashes Series History

  • Australia won the Ashes 33 times, England 32 times. One series was drawn
  • Australia has played a total of 330 Ashes test matches. They won 134 test matches, lost 106 test matches and drawn 90 test matches
  • England has played a total of 330 Ashes test matches in the 135 years long history. They won 106 test matches and lost 134 test matches. 90 test matches resulted in a draw.
  • England has scored the maximum total in a match. They scored 903/7 and declared the innings.
  • Australia has scored the minimum total in a match. They scored 36 runs in an innings.
  • The highest match aggregate is 1753 runs in an Ashes match.
  • The lowest match total is 291 runs in the Ashes history.
  • England has the biggest winning margin by an innings and 579 runs in a match.
  • The smallest victory margin is 2 runs. England won the test match against Australia by just 2 runs on 4th August 2005.
  • Australia has conceded most extras (61) in an innings of the match.
  • Sir Donald Bradman is the leading scorer in the Ashes history. He scored 5028 runs in 63 innings. His highest score was 334.

Also Check : Sir Donald Bradman- The Journey from Bowral Boy to the Don of Cricket
  • The top individual score in the Ashes history is 364 scored by Leonard Hutton. He achieved the feat with the help of 847 balls during the match. He hit 35 fours during the innings.
  • Sir Donald Bradman has the highest batting average of 89.78 in the Ashes history.
  • Sir Donald Bradman scored the maximum number of hundreds (19) in the Ashes history.
  • Syd Gregory has the most number of ducks (11) in the Ashes history.
  • Sir Don Bradman has scored the most number of runs (974) in an Ashes series at an average of 139.14
  • Shane Warne took the most number of wickets (195) in the Ashes history.
  • Jim Laker has the best bowling figures in an innings. He took 10/53.
  • Jim Laker has the best bowling figures in the match. He took 19/90 in the match.
  • F. Barnes from England took the most number of five wicket hauls (12) in the Ashes history.
  • Richardson from England took the most number of 10 wicket hauls (4) in the Ashes history.
  • Chuck Fleetwood from England has conceded most number of runs (298) in an innings..
  • Jim Laker took most number of wickets (46) in an Ashes series.
  • Ian Healy has the record for most number of dismissals (135) in the Ashes History..
  • Brad Haddin has the record for most number of dismissals (29) in the series.
  • Gil Langley had most number of dismissals (9) in the match..
  • Ian Botham took the most number of catches (54) in the Ashes history.
  • LC Braund took the most number of catches (4) in an innings
  • Greg Chappell took the most number of catches (7) in an Ashes match.
  • Jim Gregory took the most number of catches (15) in the Ashes history.
  • Sir Donald Bradman, W.H. Ponsford and Mark Taylor were involved in highest batting partnership (451 runs) in the Ashes history.
  • The total number of 100 runs partnership (636) in the Ashes history.
  • Bob Rocket stood in the most Ashes matches (27) as an Umpire.
  • Allan Border acted as captain in most number of Ashes matches (28 matches).
  • SE Gregory played the most number of Ashes test matches in the 135 years of history (52 matches).

Ashes Test Series Winner List Yearwise

The Ashes (Australia in England)1884England1-0 (3)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1886England3-0 (3)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1888England2-1 (3)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1890England2-0 (2)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1893England1-0 (3)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1896England2-1 (3)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1899Australia1-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1902Australia2-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1905England2-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1909Australia2-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1912England1-0 (3)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1921Australia3-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1926England1-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1930Australia2-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1934Australia2-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1938drawn1-1 (4)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1948Australia4-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1953England1-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1956England2-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1961Australia2-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1964Australia1-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1968drawn1-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1972drawn2-2 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1975Australia1-0 (4)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1977England3-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1981England3-1 (6)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1985England3-1 (6)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1989Australia4-0 (6)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1993Australia4-1 (6)
The Ashes (Australia in England)1997Australia3-2 (6)
The Ashes (Australia in England)2001Australia4-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)2005England2-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)2009England2-1 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)2013England3-0 (5)
The Ashes (Australia in England)2015England3-2 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1882/83England2-1 (3)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1884/85England3-2 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1886/87England2-0 (2)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1887/88England1-0 (1)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1891/92Australia2-1 (3)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1894/95England3-2 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1897/98Australia4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1901/02Australia4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1903/04England3-2 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1907/08Australia4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1911/12England4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1920/21Australia5-0 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1924/25Australia4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1928/29England4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1932/33England4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1936/37Australia3-2 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1946/47Australia3-0 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1950/51Australia4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1954/55England3-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1958/59Australia4-0 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1962/63drawn1-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1965/66drawn1-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1970/71England2-0 (7)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1974/75Australia4-1 (6)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1978/79England5-1 (6)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1982/83Australia2-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1986/87England2-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1990/91Australia3-0 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1994/95Australia3-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)1998/99Australia3-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)2002/03Australia4-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)2006/07Australia5-0 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)2010/11England3-1 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)2013/14Australia5-0 (5)
The Ashes (England in Australia)2017/18Australia4-0 (5)

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