The Ashes

miniature doll
© Lilyelf Miniatures 2009

The excitement in Australia and England amongst cricket fans is at fever pitch. The 2009 Ashes series is under way. For those non-cricket fans, based perhaps in other parts of the world, the excitement is about a game of cricket, well 5 to be more precise. It starts today in Cardiff and finishes in London at the Oval cricket ground on 24th August. That’s all five games or tests, not just the one!

So what’s all the excitement about? It is one, if not the, most hotly contested series of test cricket that is played biennially. It all started on 29th August 1882 when Australia beat England at the Oval for the first time on English soil. The Sporting Times wrote a satirical obituary about the demise of English cricket after the match. According to the author, English cricket had died and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The next tour by England to Australia in 1882/3 was, therefore, to regain the Ashes. On that tour a small urn was presented to the English captain by a group of Melbourne women. The contents were said to be the burned ashes of a cricket bail, but other claims included it to contain the ashes of an England cricketer or the remains of a veil.

The concept of playing for the ashes subsided until 1903 when England’s Pelham Warner took a team to Australia to regain the Ashes. Since then the Ashes has been a regular contest between the two countries. There have been 64 Ashes series before this one with Australia winning 31, England 28 and 5 drawn.

Lets hope for a great contest during the summer. If it is anything like the 2005 series where even non-cricket people became enthralled by the contest then it will be great entertainment. At Buttercup Miniatures we like to show impartiality and accordingly wish both teams good luck, with perhaps just a little bit more going England’s way…

Lilyelf Miniatures have kindly allowed us to use this photo of Billy, who is wearing a cricket jumper knitted by Frances of Buttercup Miniatures.