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Ashes History

 


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The term ‘Ashes’ was first used after England lost to Australia - for the first time on home soil - at The Oval on 29th August 1882. A day later, the Sporting Times carried a mock obituary to English cricket which concluded that: “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia". The concept caught the imagination of the sporting public. A few weeks later, an English team, captained by the Hon Ivo Bligh [later Lord Darnley], set off to tour Australia, with Bligh vowing to return with “the ashes"; his Australian counterpart, WL Murdoch, similarly vowed to defend them.

As well as playing three scheduled matches against the Australian national side, Bligh and the amateur players in his team participated in many social matches. It was after one such match, at the Rupertswood Estate outside Melbourne on Christmas Eve 1882, that Bligh was given the small terracotta urn as a symbol of the ashes that he had travelled to Australia to regain. On the same occasion, he met his future wife - Florence Morphy - who was the companion to Lady Janet Clark, mistress of Rupertswood, and governess to the Clark children.

In February 1884, Bligh married Florence. Shortly afterwards, they returned to England, taking the urn - which Bligh always regarded as a personal gift - with them. It stayed on the mantelpiece at the Bligh family home - Cobham Hall, near Rochester in Kent - until Bligh died, 43 years later. At his request, Florence bequeathed the urn to MCC. Today, over 75 years on, the tiny, delicate and irreplaceable artefact resides in the MCC Museum at Lord's. Each year, it is seen by tens of thousands of visitors, from all parts of the world.

In the 1990s, recognising the two teams’ desire to compete for an actual trophy, MCC commissioned - after discussions with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia - an urn-shaped Waterford Crystal trophy.

This was first presented to Mark Taylor after his Australian side emerged triumphant in the 1998-99 Test series against England. Since then, the trophy has been presented to the winning captain at the end of each Test series between Australia and England. Most recently, it was presented to Ricky Ponting after his Australian side's 5-0 victory over England in the 2006-07 Ashes series.

From October 2006 to January 2007, the urn formed the centrepiece of the MCC Travelex Ashes Exhibition, which visited seven museums in six Australian states and attracted over 105,000 visitors

The Ashes Cricket
Highest innings total
Australia : 729-6 dec Lord's, 1930
England : 903-7 dec The Oval, 1938

Highest individual score
Australia : 334 Don Bradman, Headingley, 1930
England : 364 Len Hutton, The Oval, 1938

Best bowling match figures
Australia : 16-137 Bob Massie, Lord's, 1972
England : 19-90 Jim Laker, Old Trafford, 1956

Best innings figures
Australia : 9-121 Arthur Mailey, Melbourne, 1920-21
England : 10-53 Jim Laker, Old Trafford, 1956

Most runs
Australia : 5028 Don Bradman
England : 3636 Jack Hobbs

Most wickets
Australia : 167 Dennis Lillee
England : 148 Ian Botham

Most 100s
Australia : 19 Don Bradman England : 12 Jack Hobbs

Fastest individual hundred (balls faced)
Australia : 88 Ray Lindwall, Melbourne, 1946-47
England : 76 Gilbert Jessop, The Oval, 1902

Most runs in a series
Australia : 974 Don Bradman, 1930
England : 905 Wally Hammond, 1928-29

Most 10-wicket matches
Australia : 4 Frederick Spofforth, Dennis Lillee
England : 4 Tom Richardson

Most 5-wicket innings
Australia : 11 Dennis Lillee, Clarrie Grimmett, Terry Alderman, Charles Turner
England : 12 Sydney Barnes

Most wickets in a series
Australia : 42 Terry Alderman, 1981
England : 46 Jim Laker, 1956

Most dismissals
Australia : 148 Rodney Marsh
England : 105 Alan Knott

Most catches
Australia : 141 Rodney Marsh
England : 97 Alan Knott

Most stumpings
Australia : 31 Bert Oldfield
England : 12 Godfrey Evans

Most appearances
Australia : 47 Allan Border
England : 42 Graham Gooch, David Gower

Highest partnerships : Australia
1st 329 Geoff Marsh and Mark Taylor, Trent Bridge, 1989
2nd 451 Bill Ponsford and Don Bradman, The Oval, 1934
3rd 276 Don Bradman and Lindsay Hassett, Brisbane, 1946-47
4th 388 Bill Ponsford and Don Bradman, Headingley, 1934
5th 405 Don Bradman and Sidney Barnes, Sydney, 1946-47
6th 346 Jack Fingleton and Don Bradman, Melbourne, 1936-37
7th 165 Hugh Trumble and Clem Hill, Melbourne, 1897-98
8th 243 Roger Hartigan and Clem Hill, Adelaide, 1907-08
9th 154 Syd Gregory and Jack Blackham, Sydney, 1894-95
10th 127 Johnny Talor and Arthur Mailey, Sydney, 1924-25

Highest partnerships : England
1st 323 Jack Hobbs and Wilfred Rhodes, Melbourne, 1911-12
2nd 382 Len Hutton and Maurice Leyland, The Oval, 1938
3rd 262 Wally Hammond and Douglas Jardine, Adelaide, 1928-29
4th 288 Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe, Edgbaston, 1997
5th 206 Eddie Paynter and Denis Compton, Trent Bridge, 1938
6th 215 Len Hutton and Joe Hardstaff jnr, The Oval, 1938
6th 215 Geoff Boycott and Alan Knott, Trent Bridge, 1977
7th 143 Frank Woolley and Joseph Vine, Sydney, 1911-12
8th 124 Patsy Hendren and Harold Larwood, Brisbane, 1928-29
9th 151 William Scotton and Walter Read, The Oval, 1884
10th 130 RE ‘Tip’ Foster and Wilfred Rhodes, Sydney, 1903-04

For records visit http://www.cricket24.webs.com

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