The Ashes story: How it all began

The Ashes battle is one of international sports most celebrated rivalries and dates back to 1882.

The series is named after a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper The Sporting Times in 1882 after a match at The Oval in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time.

Exploiting contemporary debate about whether to legalise cremation the obituary stated that English cricket had died and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. England captain The Hon Ivo Bligh promised that on the tour to Australia in 1882–83 he would regain "the ashes" and the term began to be established. During that tour a small terracotta urn was presented to Bligh by a group of Melbourne women.

This clip documents some of the early years of Ashes history.

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