The 2013 Ashes series featuring a resurgent England and an under-pressure Australia will see matches at the five top tier English grounds at Lord's, Old Trafford, Trent Bridge, the Riverside Ground and The Oval with the First Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on 10th July 2013. The ultra-modern Riverside ground (Durham) is hosting an Ashes test for the first time.
The 2013 series will be the first of two back-to-back Ashes series. The Ashes have being brought forward in the schedule by one year, starting with the 2013/14 series in Australia, due to the clash with the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup that is to be held in Australia in 2015.
The current holders of the Ashes, England, are led by Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke leads the touring Australian's for the first time in an Ashes series.
Update on 27 Aug 2013: England retained the Ashes after a thumping 3-0 series win. Replay all the highlights by clicking here
The Ashes: A brief history (28 June 2013)
The first Test match was played between England and Australia in 1877 at the MCG. The Ashes legend started 5 years later, after the ninth Test, played in 1882 at the Oval in London.
The third Australian team to tour England in 1882 achieved the unthinkable. Until then, the English had never been beaten on home soil, but Australia led by by WL "Billy" Murdoch shocked England, with the legendary WG Grace in their ranks, lost by seven runs with Aussie fast bowler Fred Spofforth taking 14 wickets for 90 runs.
The following day, a mock obituary ran in the Sporting Times "in affectionate remembrance of English cricket, which died at the Oval on 29th August, 1882".
During the next tour to Australia in late 1882, a small terracotta urn was presented to the England captain Hon Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women, led by Lady Clarke, after a friendly game that was played at Sir William Clarke's Rupertswood manor in Sunbury, Victoria. The contents of the urn are reputed to be the ashes of an item of cricket equipment such as a bail, or scarf, depending on which legend is true.