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2002/03 Ashes

The England cricket team toured Australia in 2002–03 and played a five-Test series at the major test venues of Gabba, MCG, Adelaide, WACA and SCG.

Australia led by Steve Waugh easily defended the Ashes, winning the series 4-1. England's skipper Nasser Hussain made one of the worst captaincy blunders of all time after sending Australia into bat in the 1st Test at the Gabba after winning the toss. Australia's batsmen took advantage of several dropped catches and other mistakes in the field to amass a staggering 364 for 2 at the end of play and the series went rapidly downhill for the tourists from that point onwards.

Michael Vaughan scored 3 centuries and was named Player of the Series. For Austraia, Matthew Hayden scored heavily and also contributed 3 centuries to seal Australia's dominance.

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2002/03 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 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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