The Ashes Predictions & Tips
The Ashes is one of the most decorated sporting rivalries in world sport. It’s not just about the rivalry between England and Australia. It’s the history between two nations that have used the game of cricket to define how it views itself on the international stage. The romance of an Ashes series is unparalleled in cricket!
It all started with a satirical obituary. Immediately after Australia notched their first win on English soil, in 1882 at the Oval, The Sporting Times coined the term The Ashes in its not-so-glorious recap of the defeat.
The obituary stated that English cricket had died and that “the body will be cremated and the ashes to be taken to Australia”. From then on, the mythical ashes became part of the folklore as the next England tour in 1882-83 was dubbed as “the quest to regain The Ashes”.
England had won two of the three Tests on that tour and were quickly presented a small urn by a group of Melbourne women. It is rumoured that the urn contained the ashes of a wooden bail and were humorously described as “the ashes of Australia cricket”.
Whatever it contained will continue to remain shrouded in mystery, but the legend of the Ashes was definitely born that day! The Ashes alternates between England and Australia at least once every two years. Five Test matches are played at various grounds to decide the winner of the coveted urn. In the series is tied the holder of the urn retains it.
There have been 70 Ashes series thus far with Australia winning 33, England 32 with five draws. In overall Tests, there have been 330 matches played with Australia winning 134, England 106 with 90 draws.
There are a lot of traditions associated with the Ashes. The Gabba in Brisbane hosts the series opener, Melbourne hosts the Boxing Day Test while Sydney hosts the New Year Test. When it comes to England, the final Ashes Test is traditionally played at the Oval.
The Ashes is a platform where many legends have been born on the cricket field. In recent Australian history we have the grittiness of Alan Border, Steve Waugh and the ‘ball of the century’ from Shane Warne that catapulted him into one of the finest bowlers of his generation.
For England how about the 2005 Ashes when Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff single-handedly emulated his idol Ian Botham to shock the Aussies and reclaim the Ashes? The Ashes often provides unbelievable moments of sporting achievements that will forever be remembered and celebrated.
The Ashes has often been controversial, none more so than the infamous ‘Bodyline’ series in 1932-33. England captain Douglas Jardine was wary of the host’s Don Bradman and ordered his fast bowlers to target the Aussie batsmen by bowling at their ribs. England won the series 4-1, but lost a number of fans and the stage was set for further fiery encounters.
There is often no love lost in the Ashes. Who can forget Dennis Lillee coming out to bat with an aluminium bat during the 1979 WACA Test? More recently, the Ashes have featured off-the-filed altercations such as the 2013 tussle outside a bar between David Warner and Joe Root.
Home advantage is very important in the Ashes with the conditions and pitches varying greatly. The harder pitches in Australia combined with hotter weather are often a challenge for England's players, with the Australians having to adjust to slower pitches in England combined with overcast conditions.
The Ashes has been dominated by the host nation in recent years, with the hosts winning eight of the last nine series. When we break down the last nine series into 45 Test matches, the home country has won 64% matches, the away side 18% with a draw occurring 18% of the time.
Australia are the current champions, having won the 2017-18 series 4-0 at home. The next series will be played in England in 2019 with the five matches to be played at Edgbaston, Headingley, the Oval, Lord’s and Old Trafford.
At Freetips.com we provide regular Ashes Cricket Tips including Series Winner, Head to Head, Top Runscorer, Most Runs, Most Wickets, Innings/Match Runs and Total Match 6's.
Recent Ashes Hosts, Results and Winners