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1974/75 Ashes

The 1974/75 Ashes series in Australia was played over six Test matches. Australia  led by Ian Chappell won the series 4–1 and "brutally and unceremoniously wrenched the Ashes" from Mike Denness's England team. This was a surprisingly one-sided result as Australia had gone into the series with some doubt as pacemen Lillee was returning from a serious back injury and Thomson still an unknown quantity.

Chappell's team was labelled the "ugly Australians" thanks to his hard-nosed captaincy, intimidatory fast bowling and constant sledging.

The notable feature of the series was the hostile fast bowling pairing of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee. Mike Denness, England's captain on a particularly unsuccessful Ashes tour, dropped himself due to poor form and then returned to stroke a century in the 6th Test.

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1974/75 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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