This Day in History – August 29th, 1882

The AshesIt was British newspaper The Sporting Times that ultimately declared English cricket to be “dead.” A game of cricket between England and Australia that concluded on this day in 1882 was won by the Australians; it was their first Test win on English soil. The satirical article was run as an obituary in which it stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. Supposedly the ball from that game was burnt to ashes and placed in an urn.

The mythical ashes immediately became associated with the 1882–83 series played in Australia, before which the English captain Ivo Bligh had vowed to “regain those ashes.” The English media therefore dubbed the tour the quest to regain the Ashes. Subsequently “The Ashes” has become a Test cricket series played specifically between England and Australia. The Ashes are regarded as being held by the team that won the last Test series or, if that series was drawn, by the team that last won a series, which this year is Australia once more.

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