The Ashes are a series of five test matches in cricket which are played between England and Australia at least once every four years.
When Australia won the test series in 1882, a satirical obituary was put in ‘The Sporting Times’ by a cricket journalist who stated “The body (English Cricket) will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”. That is where the term “the Ashes” originated from.
Thereafter, the ashes became associated with the following years series which were played in Australia, especially as the English Captain Ivo Bligh vowed to “regain thoses ashes” as they went on tour. Consequently, the British media dubbed the England Cricket Club’s tour as the quest to regain the Ashes.
England went on to win two out of the three tests that year and were presented with a small urn by a group of Melbourne woman, one of whom became Bligh’s wife.
The urn was said to contain the ashes of a wooden ball and was jokingly described as “the ashes of Australian cricket”
Over the years, Australia has won 32 series, England 31 and they have drawn five series.