When Ivo goes back with the urn, the urn;
Studds, Steel, Read and Tylecote return, return;
The welkin will ring loud,
The great crowd will feel proud,
Seeing Barlow and Bates with the urn, the urn;
And the rest coming home with the urn.
Any clue what does it mean? read on to find out..
1. The beginningEnglish loved cricket, when they ruled the world, in years gone by. They found a rival in their own people down under - now known as Aussies and started playing friendly matches.
That was the start of International test cricket as well. The year was 1877. But somewhere in between, British missed the idea that if these cricket matches continued, someday they might lose as well.
That's what happened at the Oval on 29th August 1882 - the 9th test match between the two countries. Although it was just a 4 balls per over 2 day match, England team fell short by 7 runs and being the only test of the series - Australia not only won the match but the series as well.
"In affectionate remembrance of English cricket which died at The Oval, 29th August, 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. The body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia" - wrote a London journalist, Reginald Shirley Brooks in a mock obituary (which means death notice). It was published by Sporting Times next day.
From that day onwards, these two countries play a test match series every 2 years. Whoever wins the series, wins the Ashes. If series is draw, Ashes remains with previous winner.
2. So what do we mean by "Ashes"It's basically an urn (a vase of varying size and shape, usually having a footed base or pedestal) and can be seen in the cricket museum at Lord's. A red and a gold velvet bag - which were made specially for that urn and the scorecard of that 1882 test match reside along with it.
It's not known what that Ashes urn contains. Some say it has the ashes of the "bail" used in the 3rd test match when English team traveled to Australia to regain ashes after that Oval test loss. Some say it's burned ball... make your own guess..
3. Victory after follow-onWell over two thousand test matches so far, only three have seen teams coming back and winning after being asked to follow-on (all three lost by Australia). Twice it has been done by English team in Ashes series - at Sydney in 1894 and then at Leeds in 1981. (3rd instance has Indians winning at Kolkata in 2001).
In Australia = 175 = Australia 91, England 57, Draws 27.
In England = 161 = England 48, Australia 47, Draws 66.
Australia's 729/6d at Lord's is the second best team score in Ashes thus far.
Aussies also own next two lowest totals at 42/10 and 44/10 before we reached England's worst at 45 all out at Sydney back in January 1887.
England's best partnership is 382 between Len Hutton & Maurice Leyland.
most centuries in Ashes = 19. Most runs by one Englishman is by Jack Hobbs for his 3636 compilation in 41 Ashes test matches.
11. Most wickets in Ashes seriesShane Warne is stranger to no cricket fan, specially not for England fans as he is the highest wicket taker in Ashes series = 172 wickets from 31 Ashes matches at an average of 22.30.
I know history is not always interesting, but I hope this piece was different.