Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The History of the Ashes Cricket Series

The Ashes series in cricket is one of the most famous sporting tournaments in the world, attracting fans of both cricket and of sports betting, who like to wager on results and performances at sports betting and online casino sites. The competition only houses the two teams, England and Australia, but the competition is always so unpredictable that the bookies still see a large return. The popularity of the competition still spans the whole globe and whereas it may not have quite the same level of following as football events like the World Cup, there is little question that the Ashes has an iconic status within the sporting world, and as one of the most prevalent competitions in cricket the bookies always expect a high turnover. The format consists of a series of test matches between England and Australia, which are held every two years, alternately in the UK and Australia – and throughout its history it has produced many memorable encounters.

There is much debate about where the name of the tournament originates, but in fact it has its origins in a Sporting Times article, which took the form of an ‘obituary’ for English cricket, following an Australian win on English soil. This led a group of Australian women to present the England captain with the ashes of a bail in an urn, leading to the series being coined the ‘ashes’. The Australian win in England that led to all this – in 1882 – is unsurprisingly considered one of the most memorable to this day.

However it is more modern day Ashes series that the majority of cricket fans will be familiar with, such as the 1977, which marked the centenary of test cricket, and saw the Australian bowler Dennis Lilley almost single-handedly destroy England’s chances. Having saved the opening innings for Australia, by taking six England wickets – after Australia had slumped to 138 all out, he then won the second innings for them, when England appeared certain to secure the 441 they needed. In both innings, Australia appeared to have no chance until Lilley took matters in hand.

For England fans, perhaps the most memorable Ashes series of recent memory would be the 2005 one, on home soil. The victory claimed here would represent their first Ashes win in 18 long years, and was inspired by players like Freddie Flintoff, who would go on to gain celebrity status as a result. Unfortunately, two years later, Australia gained revenge with a 5-0 whitewash!

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