Little Bits of History

The Ashes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2011

The Ashes urn

August 29, 1882: According to The Sporting Match, English cricket dies. The Ashes is a Test cricket series played by cricket’s greatest international rivalry – Australia and England. Cricket is a summer game and The Ashes is a biennial event. However, summer does not occur at the same time in the two countries. The Ashes is therefore played every 18 or 30 months in a bid to find the new home for the urn.

The Sporting Match published an obituary stating that English cricked had died when Australia beat England on their home field. “The body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia” according to the obit. The media played up the need to regain the ashes when England next played in Australia calling the 1882-1883 season the “quest to regain The Ashes.” And so began the tradition.

The first urn contained ashes from some piece of cricket equipment and was presented to English captain Ivo Bligh when they played their next match in Melbourne. It was made of terra cotta and he forever thought of it as a personal gift. Replicas are seen today holding the ashes. It is not a trophy, per se. Since 1998 there has been a trophy that is presented to the winner and it is made of Waterford crystal. Australia is the current title, trophy, and ash holder with the next match scheduled for 2009.

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. It is played on an oval field with two teams of eleven members each. In the center of the oval is a flat strip of ground 22 yards  long called a pitch. There is a wicket set up at each end. A bowler throws a ball to the man protecting his wicket who bats the ball into the playing field. If the ball remains in play and the wicket remains standing, the batsman and the non-striker (a second batsman at the opposing end of the pitch) run between the wickets to score runs. The highest score wins.

“By bringing the Ashes back after so long you have given cricket a huge boost and lit up the whole summer.” – Tony Blair

“My warmest congratulations to you, the England cricket team and all in the squad for the magnificent achievement of regaining the Ashes.” – Michael Vaughan

“It has brought cricket alive in Britain and even around the world. And what’s more the players have been great sporting role models for kids. The Ashes victory is great for the sport.” – David Folb

“Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being ended sooner.” – George Bernard Shaw

Also on this day:
Have You Hugged Your Hog Today? – In 1885, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler patents the motorcycle.
Last Man Standing – In 1911, Ishi was found.

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The Ashes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 15, 2011

The Ashes urn is reputed to contain a burnt cricket bail. (Photo by Daniel Greef)

March 15, 1877: The first Test Cricket Match between England and Australia begins. Test cricket is the longest form of the game of cricket. It is played by national teams given “Test status” by the International Cricket Council [ICC]. There are four innings played between two teams, each comprised of eleven players. The game is played over a maximum of five days. It is the ultimate test of both ability and endurance. This date did not see the first international cricket match. That was held between Canada and the US on September 24-25, 1844. Today’s date was the first Test match and was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australia won by 45 runs.

England rallied and the next meeting between the two rivals had the Brits winning by four wickets. The teams were then tied. In 1977, the two great rivals once again faced each other and were once again playing in Melbourne. Amazingly enough, the match ended with Australia winning – by 45 runs. The Test matches are a subset of “first-class cricket,” which are matches lasting three or more days. At its inception, only the two teams were involved. By 1889, South Africa joined in. West Indies, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh also joined in the contests.

The actual origins of the game are lost to time but seems to have been devised during Saxon or Norman times. The first definite reference to the game being played came from Surrey around 1550. Still a children’s game at the time, it was first noted as an adult entertainment in 1611. We know this because two Sussex men were prosecuted for playing the game on a Sunday rather than attending church services.

The rivalry between Australia and England took on a more ominous turn in 1882 when the teams met in London. The Australians played a great first inning but the Brits came back strong in the next. The match came to an ignominious end when Ted Peate managed to score only two runs before being bowled out – losing the game. In the press the next day, a mock obituary was placed in the papers for English Cricket, stating “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” Thus began the tradition of The Ashes. To date, Australia has won 123 matches, England 100, and 87 have ended in a draw.

“A cricket ground is a flat piece of earth with some buildings around it.” – Richie Benaud

“Cricket is basically baseball on valium.” – Robin Williams

“Cricket needs brightening up a bit. My solution is to let the players drink at the beginning of the game, not after. It always works in our picnic matches.” – Paul Hogan

“Cricket to us was more than play, it was a worship in the summer sun.” – Edmund Blunden

Also on this day:
Voting Booths – In 1892, Myers Voting Booths were introduced in New York.
Beware the Ides of March – In 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated.

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The Ashes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2010

The Ashes urn

August 29, 1882: According to The Sporting Match, English cricket dies. The Ashes is a Test cricket series played by cricket’s greatest international rivalry – Australia and England. Cricket is a summer game and The Ashes is a biennial event. However, summer does not occur at the same time in the two countries. The Ashes is therefore played every 18 or 30 months in a bid to find the new home for the urn.

The Sporting Match published an obituary stating that English cricked had died when Australia beat England on their home field. “The body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia” according to the obit. The media played up the need to regain the ashes when England next played in Australia calling the 1882-1883 season the “quest to regain The Ashes.” And so began the tradition.

The first urn contained ashes from some piece of cricket equipment and was presented to English captain Ivo Bligh when they played their next match in Melbourne. It was made of terra cotta and he forever thought of it as a personal gift. Replicas are seen today holding the ashes. It is not a trophy, per se. Since 1998 there has been a trophy that is presented to the winner and it is made of Waterford crystal. Australia is the current title, trophy, and ash holder with the next match scheduled for 2009.

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. It is played on an oval field with two teams of eleven members each. In the center of the oval is a flat strip of ground 22 yards (20.12 m) long called a pitch. There is a wicket set up at each end. A bowler throws a ball to the man protecting his wicket who bats the ball into the playing field. If the ball remains in play and the wicket remains standing, the batsman and the non-striker (a second batsman at the opposing end of the pitch) run between the wickets to score runs. The highest score wins.

“By bringing the Ashes back after so long you have given cricket a huge boost and lit up the whole summer.” – Tony Blair

“My warmest congratulations to you, the England cricket team and all in the squad for the magnificent achievement of regaining the Ashes.” – Michael Vaughan

“It has brought cricket alive in Britain and even around the world. And what’s more the players have been great sporting role models for kids. The Ashes victory is great for the sport.” – David Folb

“Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being ended sooner.” – George Bernard Shaw

Also on this day, in 1911 Ishi, last of the Yahi People, was found.
Bonus Link: In 1885, Daimler receives a patent for a motorcycle
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