It was on this day in 1882 when The Ashes was born. Requiring just 85 in the second innings to win the three-day Test at The Oval, England were bundled out for 77 to lose the game.
Frederick Spofforth’s seven-wicket haul not just give Australia a win in the ecnounter but it played the role of a stimulator in giving rise to the famous Ashes series. Harry Boyle too picked up three wickets.
Earlier, England had scored 101 in the first innings in reply to Austalia’s 63. The English team then bowled out Australia for 122.
The term “Ashes” originated in a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times after this game. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.
The English captain Ivo Bligh had vowed to “regain those ashes” in the next tour to Australia which they did win. A small urn was presented to the captain by a group of Melbourne women including Florence Morphy, whom Bligh married within a year.
The urn is said to have the ashes of bail and was humorously described as “the ashes of Australian cricket”