The Ashes: Everything You Need to Know

The Ashes: Everything You Need to Know

Kristin Kennedy-Brown - June 29, 2023

To begin - what is the Ashes?

The Ashes is known to be one of greatest sporting rivalries of all time - the test cricket series is played between England and Australia. 

Why is the Ashes called the Ashes?

The Ashes as we know it began with the 1882/83 series. It was named the Ashes after Australia claimed their first test win on English soil at The Oval in 1882. The day after the win, the Sporting Times carried a mock obituary of English Cricket - this concluded that the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. This name and concept caught the attention of the sporting public and a few weeks later the English team which was captained by Hon Ivo Bligh (later Lord Darnley), made their way to Australia to return with ‘The Ashes’.

During their time there, Blighs English side played three scheduled matches against the Australian side, as well as many social matches. After a match on Christmas Eve 1882, Bligh was given a small terracotta urn which was known to be the symbol of the ashes that himself and the team went to Australia to regain. 

The urn-shaped Waterford Crystal trophy was first commissioned in the 1990s - the trophy was first presented to Mark Taylor after his Australian side became triumphant in the 1998-99 in the Test Series between Australia and England. 

When and where are the games taking place?

  • First Test (Edgbaston) - Friday 16th June - Tuesday 20th June (11am start)
  • Second Test (Lord’s) - Wednesday 28th - Sunday 2nd July (11am start)
  • Third Test (Clean Slate Headingley) - Thursday 6th July - Monday 10th July (11am start)
  • Fourth Test (Emirates Old Trafford) - Wednesday 19th July - Sunday 23rd July (11am start)
  • Fifth Test (The Kia Oval) - Thursday 27th July - Monday 31st July (11am start)

The Ashes Glossary

Over the next few weeks, you might hear the following terms:

Bazball - this is known to be England's attacking brand of cricket, where positivity is prerequisite. Cricket that inevitably keeps fans excited and eager for more. Of course, results matter, but entertainment matters too. 

Nighthawk - the nighthawk is known to be a lower-order batter who is sent up to swing for the fences, in an attempt to disorient opponents. This helps to add a few runs and keep England on the front foot. 

Draw - a sporting contest where there is no winner. Don’t expect to see too many of these this Summer!

Sledging - sledging is known to be the banter between teams as they try to get inside each others heads. This aims to add more intrigue and humour to the game. 

DRS - Decision Review System - this is what players bring into effect if they want to challenge the on-field umpires calls. A side loses a review if they are proven incorrect, however retain one if they are correct. The decision can also remain in the Umpires call - factors include; where the ball pitched, where it hit the batter, and how much of the stumps it was set to strike. 

Declaration - when a team calls their innings to an end before being bowled out. This is in the hope of trying to force a result. 

Jaffa (snorter, crackerjack, ripper etc) - these are words used to describe a great delivery from a bowler to a batter. 

Despite past defeats, the England Cricket Board will begin their quest to rise again and regain the Ashes for the first time since 2015. Setbacks are forgotten. Success is timeless. Immortality is just 22 yards away. 

Better Never Stops