Looking for information on one of cricket’s most famous rivalries? With these fun facts about the Ashes, you’ll learn everything you need to know!
It’s cricket’s ultimate rivalry. England takes on Australia. This is a match that has been going on for 137 years! But how well do you know the bi-annual cricket tournament that determines who wins the Ashes urn?
We’ll delve into the historic results, most epic tests, and dynamic players who’ve changed the game forever with these fun facts about the Ashes. This rivalry is not only bitter but also fiercely contested.
How well do you know the Ashes?
So, what are your predictions for the Ashes 2023? Join Cricbaba for exciting bets. Can England break Australia’s winning streak? Will Australia continue to dominate and retain the Ashes for another cycle? Australia hasn’t released a series since 2015!
What about the Ashes of the Women? England is also attempting to claw its way back from a small deficit, with Australia leading the series 9-6.
In June and July 2023, the two tournaments will be held concurrently across England, which means double the cricket to watch! We’re excited about all the upcoming action, and we’re sure you are as well, so prepare yourself with these amazing Ashes facts. It’s time to delve into the Ashes’ history!
1. What is the significance of the name the Ashes?
The Ashes got their name from the humiliation of an English defeat. When Australia defeated England in 1882, British journalist Reginald Shirley Brooks claimed that English cricket had died, the body had been cremated, and the ashes had been transferred to Australia.
Ivo Bligh, England’s captain at the time, then vowed to reclaim the Ashes for his country.
2. When was the first Ashes match held?
The first Ashes test was played the same year as England’s loss at the Oval, with England winning the inaugural series 2-1.
A series is now played every 18–30 months and is a 5-match series.
3. What happens if a draw occurs?
It is not unusual for the Ashes series to end in a tie. The defending champion retains the Ashes in the event of a tie, according to the rules.
This makes perfect sense – you can’t take away the trophy after a tie! There have been six draws in the Ashes’ history.
4. The Ashes match between England and Australia
It’s truly incredible how close the two countries’ cricket rivalry is. Aside from the six draws mentioned above, Australia’s current win rate is 34 and England’s is 32.
Could it get any closer? England will be desperate for a series win after failing to win the Ashes since 2015.
5. What about that tiny trophy?
Of course, the trophy is a miniature urn! What other way could you keep ashes?
While the current Ashes urn is made of Waterford Crystal and was installed in 1998, the original Ashes urn is on display at Lord’s in the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) Museum.
6. The contents of the Ashes urn
Okay, we know what you’re thinking: Are there ashes in the urn? This is a legend rife with conjecture.
Some speculate that the ashes are from a burned cricket bail. Others think it’s a charred cricket ball. However, we can confirm that there are ashes in the Ashes urn!
7. Statistics about the Ashes
In total, 357 tests have been played in the Ashes’ history. Australia has 151 victories compared to England’s 110. In addition, there have been 96 draws.
Australia once again leads the way in terms of centuries scored, with 264. England has 212 centuries to its credit.
8. The Ashes’ highest run scorers
Here is a fun fact about the Ashes that blew our minds. Sir Don Bradman, the legendary Australian cricketer, holds the record for most runs scored with a jaw-dropping 5,028!
As for the English side, it’s Sir Jack Hobbs with 3,636. No wonder these men were made Sirs!
9. The best-ever cricket team
In terms of Sir Don Bradman, his Australian team for the 1948 Ashes is widely regarded as the best ever assembled in cricket.
Not only did they sweep the Ashes without a loss, but they did so away from home in England. It’s no surprise that the team was dubbed “The Invincibles.”
10. The incomparable Jim Laker
This is an Ashes record that may never be broken. Jim Laker of England became the first bowler in history to take all ten wickets in an innings.
Overall, his 19/90 at the 1956 Ashes set a record not only for the Ashes but also for tests. What an inspiration!
11. Biggest Ashes wins by runs
Australia leads the series 8-2 in terms of biggest victories by runs. The biggest victory, however, occurred on November 30th, 1928, in Brisbane, when England defeated Australia by an astounding 675 runs!
12. Largest series victory over England
Australia has whitewashed England three times in the Ashes’ history. It first happened in the 1920-21 series, when Australia defeated England 5-0.
In more recent times, Australia humiliated England with a 5-0 series win in 2006-07. Then, in 2013-14, Australia did it again.
13. Largest series victory over Australia
In the history of the Ashes, England has never been able to sweep Australia. The best English performance was a 5-1 victory over Australia in 1978-79.
Interestingly, many of Australia’s best cricketers were absent from the tournament due to World Series Cricket commitments.
14. The infamous Captain Douglas Jardine
The bodyline tactic devised by Douglas Jardine to stymie the Australian team, particularly star player Donald Bradman, sparked the most controversy during the Ashes.
Bodyline was a bowling strategy in which bowlers pitched the ball short, causing it to rise dangerously close to the batsmen’s bodies and possibly injure them.
15. The legendary John Snow
That Jon Snow, not the other one. During the 1970-71 Ashes, English bowler John Snow is famous for hitting Australian Terry Jenner on the head with a bowl.
This sparked a fan revolt, with many storming the field and even dragging Snow to the ground. England eventually won the test by 62 runs.
16. The biggest Ashes crowd ever
Cricket is a big deal in Australia! Especially during the Christmas season (summer in Australia).
The fourth Ashes test of 2013 attracted 91,902 spectators on Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It broke the 1961 cricket attendance record!
17. The Tale of the Women’s Ashes
The first women’s Ashes were played in 1934, and the rivalry between the women’s teams is just as fierce.
Australia has won nine times, while England has won six. Since the eight Ashes series have been tied, draws appear to be an even more common occurrence in the women’s game.
18. A fact about the biggest duck in Ashes history
Sydney Edward Gregory of Australia has the most ducks in Ashes history. Gregory had 11 ducks in 52 matches, totalling 92 innings.
What’s more bizarre is that he only had 12 ducks in his entire career, so 92% of his ducks came at the Ashes.
19. A fact on Man of the Match
Following each test, the best player on the day is named Man of the Match. Australian cricketer Steven Smith holds the record for the most Man of the Match awards. He has won it six times, the most recent being in 2019.
20. The Ashes and science fiction
Here’s an Ashes’ fact we were completely unaware of. The Ashes urn was stolen by alien robots in the third installment of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Life, the Universe, and Everything!
Who knew the Ashes Urn had travelled to outer space?
21. The film adaptation of The Ashes
Did you know The Ashes was made into a movie? The story of aging cricketer Sam Palmer’s final match for England is told in the 1953 British sports film The Final Test.
To begin with, The Final Test was a play, but director Anthony Asquith transformed it into a beloved film that The Guardian dubbed “Britain’s only significant cricket picture.”