Top 7 Facts About The Ashes

With the 2021-22 series on the horizon, many Australian fans are getting their hands on The Ashes tickets. They are readying their enthusiasm and their love for the sport to cheer on their side during those warm weeks in December and January. 

To get back into the swing of things this cricket season, we’ve put together a list of seven interesting facts about the Ashes.

1. The origins of the Ashes dates back to the 1800s

England and Australia began playing each other in Test matches in 1877 but, in 1882, following England’s loss to Australia at the Oval in London a British sporting newspaper published a satirical obituary for English cricket. The writer stated that the “body will be cremated and the ashes [will be] taken to Australia” and, when England set off for Australia for the 1882-1883 series, their captain, Ivo Bligh, announced that he was going to reclaim them.

2. The famous Urn is England’s

The physical urn itself, first given to Ivo Bligh in 1883, was within his possession until the day he died, since then it has been kept at the MCC Museum at Lord’s. It’s only travelled to Australia twice, since 1929, the first occasion being in 1988 for the Australian Bicentenary and then again in 2006-2007 as part of the MCC-organised touring exhibition. So, while Australia might have won the Ashes more than enough times to claim the title, the urn itself lies safely in England. 

3. The urn was never an official trophy

Besides being too fragile to travel, another reason the urn has stayed in England is that although thought of as a world famous cricket trophy, it’s never actually been presented to the winners. 

The little terracotta urn, as mentioned, belonged to Ivo Bligh and was considered by him as a personal gift from his then future wife Florence Morphy and some other Melbourne ladies. There also wasn’t an actual trophy until 1998-1999, at this time a Waterford Crystal urn-shaped replica was crafted to be the official trophy.

4. The mystery of what’s inside the urn

Despite there being many rumours, no one knows exactly what’s inside the urn. Legend describes that its contents could be the charred remains of a wooden bail, stumps or a ball’s outer case. There are even theories that the urn at the MCC isn’t the original one given to Ivo Bligh. One of his descendants, the Dowager Countess of Darnley, actually claimed that it contains the remnants of Florence Morphy’s wedding veil. 

5. England has never completed a ‘Whitewash’

While Australia has succeeded a few times in winning every test match in a series in 1920-1921, 2006-2007 and 2013-2014, England has had no such luck. They did come close to achieving their most decisive win in 1978-1979 when they defeated the Australian side 5-1, but unfortunately, they still have yet to achieve a whitewash. 

6. When there’s a draw the previous winners retain the title

This has happened on numerous occasions in 1938, 1962-1963, 1965-1966 and 1972. The first four were awarded to Australia as they had come into the matches as defending champions, while England held the title in 1972. 

7. The record for most runs by an individual player has stood since 1948

Many records have been made during the Ashes, the most notable being Sir Don Bradman’s record of 5028 runs. His name is likely to remain at the top for a long time seeing as the second and third highest scores made by Sir Jack Hobbs and Allan Border who have both played in more series only managed to rack up 3636 and 3222 respectively. 

Get your Ashes tickets

You won’t want to miss out on all the action and luckily for you here at The Ticket Merchant we’ve got your cricket ticket needs covered. Head here to grab your Ashes tickets, held in Australia from December 2021 to January 2022.