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The Ashes rivalry between England and Australia started today, 134 years ago
Many of us keenly watch and follow the Ashes series Test cricket matches that take place between England and Australia at regular intervals. The rivalry in the matches is unmatched and the atmosphere, absolutely electric.

But, most of us don't know a few facts about one of the most contentiously fought Test cricket series in history and the real satire behind it. The history of Ashes dates back to 1882. It was on August 29, 1882 that England lost a Test match at the Oval to Australia. It was Australia's first Test cricket win on English soil.

So humiliating was the defeat for England in the match that the whole nation took to mourning, considering it nothing short than a tragedy. The Test match lasted just two days. Set a target of 85 for a win England were bundled out for 77. What pained the English most was that they had lost to their own colony on their home soil.

So unimaginable was the loss that British newspaper, The Sporting Times, published a satirical obituary after Australia's win. The obituary said that English cricket had died that day and the ashes would be sent to Australia. The Ashes trophy is a terracotta urn believed to contain the ashes of a burnt cricket bail.

Since then, winning the Ashes trophy has been a matter of pride for both the archrivals. Although Australians have held an upper hand in the Ashes, England is not much behind. Both the teams have held the trophy 32 times each with five times the series ending in draw. The Ashes series is hosted by England and Australia in turns, and traditionally held as a five-match series at least once every four years. Irrespective of who the winner is, the urn or the Ashes Trophy always remains at the MCC Museum at Lord's.

Don Bradman with 5,028 runs has been the highest scoring batsman in the Ashes and Shane Warne with 195 wickets is the highest wicket taker.

Currently, the Ashes lie with England, and Australia is itching to win them back. The next Ashes series is scheduled for 20017-18, and will be held in Australia.

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