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In 1882, after Australia defeated England on English soil for the first time, The Sporting Times ran the following obituary for English cricket:

In Affectionate RemembranceofENGLISH CRICKET,which died at the Ovalon29th AUGUST 1882,Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowingfriends and acquaintancesR.I.P.N.B.-The body will be cremated and theashes taken to Australia.

Later that year, when the English cricketers set out for Australia, captain Ivo Bligh promised to "recover those ashes", and repeated the promise several times during the tour. When England won that series 2-1, some Melbourne women presented him with a small urn containing the ashes of a bail; when he died his widow gave the urn to the MCC, and it is now in the museum at Lord's. However after this tour the whole thing was considered over and forgotten.

Twenty years later, in 1903, English captain Pelham Warner once again led a tour to Australia, with the stated aim of "recovering the ashes", and after returning from a victorious series he wrote a book How We Recovered The Ashes, and that is how the term entered public discourse. The first reference to the Ashes in Wisden is from 1905.

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11y ago
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14y ago

The trophy they play for is the ashes of the stumps from the first test match, in a tiny urn

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13y ago

it is due the trophy, which is a urn which reputed has a cricket ball burnt to ashes inside. there is also belief that it also could be bails, stumps or even a woman's veil!

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Q: Why are the cricket ashes called ashes?
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