History of the Ashes
This is a sporting competition between England and Australia that has been going strong since 1882. The Ashes is one of the most long lived and celebrated rivalries in the international sporting calendar.
Swapping locations every two years between England and Australia, the Ashes series is made up of five Test matches with two innings per match. If it ends up in a draw between England versus Australia, the Ashes belong with the country who won them last.
But why is it called the Ashes? In 1882 The Sporting Times declared that English cricket had died following the England team’s first defeat at home by the Aussies. They published a mock obituary that said: “[English cricket] will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” The media then took up the refrain by calling the next tour to Australia as ‘the quest to regain the Ashes”.
Each series alternates between the UK and Australia and usually each of the five matches within the series is held at a different place. In Australia these are The Gabba in Brisbane, Adelaide Oval, the WACA in Perth, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground. In the UK they are The Oval (used since 1880), Old Trafford, Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Headingley and Edgbaston. In this year’s series Chester-le-Street in Durham hosted its first ever Ashes Test match.
After a rather disastrous run in the 80s and 90s, England began to get their act together and recover when it came to the Ashes from the early 2000s and remained undefeated until 2004. the next Ashes series was more closely competitive than any for a long while and it was difficult to predict who would win: Australia won the first test easily with England just scraping a win for the second test. Struggling through the third and fourth tests England eventually triumphed by three wickets, giving them their first Ashes win at home since 1985.
All was lost in 2006 when Australia trounced England with a 5-0 victory – only the second time that had ever happened. England won the next year and in 2010-11 managed to retain the Ashes, with England’s Jonathan Trott scoring 168 not out. This year was the first when England had scored 500 or more four times in a series.
All of which brings us onto the 2013 Ashes series, which are being played at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Old Trafford, the Riverside Ground and The Oval. This is the first of two back to back Ashes as the cricketing world brings them forward in the schedule to avoid clashing with the Cricket World Cups. The next 2013-14 series will be held in Australia.
We’re almost halfway through this series and it’s looking like England’s remarkable sporting achievements are set to continue as the English team comfortably won the first two tests in July. The final three of the series will be held throughout August, kicking off tomorrow 1 August 2013 at Old Trafford.
The photos we have are courtesy of photographer Daniel Hopkinson who took the shots of the newly developed ground masterminded by architects BDP.