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1877 Ashes

The first Test match between England and Australia was played at the MCG on March 15,16, 17 and 19 in 1877.

Australia defeated England in what became subsequently known as the first 'Test' match. Opening batsman, Charles Bannerman, scored the first ever century having retired hurt on 165 (including the first “five” in Test cricket for a hit over the fence). Bannerman only played three Tests, and retired in 1879/1880 to become coach of the Melbourne Cricket Club.

Australia won the first Test by 45 runs. Australian captain, Dave Gregory, was given a gold medal by the Victorian Cricket Association whilst his team-mates received silver medals. English skipper James Lillywhite stated after the loss "The win," he said, "was [...] a feather in their cap and a distinction that no Englishman will begrudge them"

The Ashes legend started 5 years later, after the ninth Test, played in 1882.

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1877 Ashes

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.

 

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