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Why is the England-Australia test series so prestigous and called "THE ASHES"?

Even though the first test between these countries was played on 1877, The story of Ashes started in one off-test between Australia and England played on 1882

On a low scoring game,Australian team could score only 63 & 122 in their innings respectively. On the other hand, England have scored 101 runs in their first innings and were expected to win the match comfortably.However England team were bundled out for 77 all out losing the match.

The headlines of the sporting times mocked the Australian victory over Mighty England Team.A London Journalist Reginald Shirley Brooks wrote

"In affectionate remembrance of English cricket which died at The Oval, 29th August, 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances, RIP. NB The body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia."

Story behind the trophy - Ashes Urn

The ashes trophy was a small urn with inscription

"When Ivo goes back with the urn, the urn;
Studds, Steel, Read and Tylecote return, return;
The welkin will ring loud,
The great crowd will feel proud,
Seeing Barlow and Bates with the urn, the urn;
And the rest coming home with the urn."

The England cricketer Bligh was presented with a small urn by group of Australian women. The Urn contains the ashes of the bail used in the test match.The Ashes urn remained with Bligh until his death in 1927

A replica was made of the original urn to preserve the original urn in 1998-99 which also serve as the trophy to winner of one of the most keenly contested cricket series.

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