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Sports Then and Now

Great Cricket Moments: Three Timeless Ashes Series

Posted on August 22, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse
The Ashes is one of the most desired and certainly one of the most interesting  trophies in sports.

The Ashes is one of the most desired and certainly one of the most interesting trophies in sports.

In this year’s Ashes, England has returned with a stunning series of victories to win back the Ashes for the third time since 2009. A poor showing from the Australians, combined with an inspiring display of force from the England team, has well and truly put to rest the embarrassingly dry spell of losses experienced in the 1990s.

The Ashes is perhaps one of the most famous trophies of any sport in the world, not just in the cricketing sphere. Its emblem – a tiny urn just 11cm high – stems from a mock obituary for “English Cricket” that was published in the Sporting Times in 1882 after a humiliating loss for England after a match at the Kennington Oval. The memorable quip – “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia” – began to overshadow to the upcoming tour in Australia, in which captain Ivo Bligh vowed to bring back the Ashes for England.

Since then, the two countries have played over 300 Test series. Both teams have tended to use Gunn and Moore cricket bats, available from cricket retailers such as Talent Cricket.

1932-33: The Bodyline Tour
The genteel world of cricket is not usually known for its controversies. Nevertheless, the 1932-33 Ashes have gone down in history thanks to the questionable “bodyline” tactics employed by the England team under Douglas Jardine. Bodyline was a style of bowling employed primarily to counter the superb skill of Australia’s batsman Don Bradman, considered perhaps the best Test cricketer of all time. Bodyline delivery involved bowling the ball towards the batsman’s body on the leg stump side, in the hope that the resultant leg-side deflection could be handled more easily by fielding England players. It was intended to intimidate, hoping to break the extraordinary skill of Bradman.

The tour was an overwhelming success for England, who won the Ashes by four games to one. Nevertheless, the MCC were quick to ban bodyline deliveries.

1989: The Australians Strike Back
In 1989, the Australian side was considered as “possibly the worst side to ever tour England.” And for good reason – after winning just one Ashes series since 1977, the Australian effort seemed hopeless. And yet with a team of just 12 players, Australia – captained by the experienced Allan Border – smashed the English side with a whopping 4-0 win.

2005: The Ashes Come Home
1989 proved to be the start of a 16 year period of win after win for the Australians. But in 2005, a tightly-fought series between the two teams, captained by England’s Michael Vaughan and Australia’s Ricky Ponting, saw England come out on top with a 2-1 victory. It might have been slim, but the victory was celebrated across the country, and the victors’ parade through London was attended by tens of thousands of fans.

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