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Ashes series

The Ashes series is a regular international cricket contest between England and Australia, so named after the trophy, which is a small wooden urn, said to contain the burnt bails from an 1882 game between the countries at The Oval[?]. The custom arose when, after this game, The Sporting Times[?] printed the following "obituary" to English cricket:

"In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST, 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances R.I.P.
N.B. - The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia."
Ironically, the Ashes themselves were never taken to Australia, but kept in the Long Room at Lords[?]. In the 1990s, given Australia's long dominance of the series the idea was mooted of the victorious team being awarded the trophy, but nothing came of it.

The Ashes is generally regarded as the greatest cricketing competition, at least by inhabitants of the countries involved. Notable ashes series took place in 1933 (the Bodyline tour), 1948 (Bradman's unbeatable Australian side) and 1981 (in which an England team spearheaded by Ian Botham won a thrilling series).

see also: Australia v England 2001

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