The popularity towards test cricket has been fading by the time as audience exhibit higher response towards short format cricket. To popularize test cricket, International Cricket Council (ICC) has come up with premier championship tournament titled “ICC World Test Championship”. This tournament is supposed to be the longest tournament ever conducted and the Ashes 2019 is declared to be the opening test of World Test Championship.
Why ashes is so much popular?
Most of the cricket lovers are excited about the famous test series ‘ASHES’ to be played between two horns- England and Australia. But not everyone spots the origin of the term ‘ASHES’.
Let’s find out how the famous test series got its name, Ashes. On Australia tour to England in the year 1882, England suffered a huge defeat in their home soil which is also registered to be the first victory for Australia in foreign soil.
After Australia won the series against England, the term Ashes were used in a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times. The obituary sarcastically stated that England cricket is dead, and the body will be cremated and the ashes were taken to Australia. The term Ashes again became associated with England tour to Australia in 1882-1883, when the England captain Ivo Bligh promised to “recover those ashes”. He uttered them several times during his tour and immediately captured the attention of the media that labelled the tour as ‘the quest to regain the ashes’.
Later England registered a victory against Australia in two out of three tests in the tour and a group of Melbourne women presented a small urn to the England captain implying the return of ashes. The contents of the urn are said to the ashes of the wooden bail and was later popularly called as ‘the ashes of Australian cricket’.
In 20 years after Bligh’s campaign, the term ‘ashes’ was mostly faded from the public use. But the word regained its popularity in 1903 when Pelham Warner took a team to Australia promising that he would regain ‘the ashes’. Having fulfilled the promise, Pelham Warner published a book titled ‘How We Recovered the Ashes’ which created a general hype among the Australians.
But what makes the ashes clash special? The ashes have never been an open contest. The ashes are handed back and forth every year only between England and Australia and no new team is included in this contest. All through the ashes history, one side has always reigned supreme over the other for a long period. Ashes series are some of the hardest fought games and had many upsets and exciting reversals in cricket history.
This series has also produced many legends and has instilled memories that no fan would ever forget.
The most interesting thing in the ashes series is that the results at the end of every series make the next one further vital. The rivalry between the two countries not only extends but also deepens.
Starting from 2005 series, playing in ashes has become a challenging task for the players. Hence the attitude and atmosphere of the crowds in the stadium are simply wondrous in every series.
Jersey to sport name and numbers in Ashes:
First time in test cricket history, players are getting name and number written on their back of white shirts in Ashes 2019. For nearly 142 years players has worn only white shirts and trousers in international test crickets. A sudden change may be staggering to some traditionalists, but introducing names and numbers on the shirts helps to quickly recognise who is on the field. This makes test cricket more engaging and appealing for the new audiences.
Ashes test series is the first test of inaugural World Test Championship, the largest tournament ever which will run over next two years.
Who is the favourite to win ashes 2019?
Australia, the holders of the Ashes urn, has never won the Ashes series in England mud for past 18 years. The Ashes test series has been played 70 times with 346 tests in which Australia has won a total of 144 tests and England has won a total of 108 tests, and 94 times the match was drawn. And overall Australia won the series for 33 times and 32 times by England. This year series will be more exciting and interesting amongst the audience, as England will perform hard to level the Ashes series (33-33) and Australia will play equally hard to get its first triumph in the England ground in last 18 years. But if the series is drawn, Australia will continue to retain the Ashes.
After winning the ICC Cricket World cup this summer, England is on the high side looking to ram their supremacy against Australia. England will strive hard to take back the urn after a demoralising defeat the last series. It is also expected to be the bowler’s series, as the attack bowling of both the side looks stronger than batting. England’s middle-order batting looks tougher than overall Australian batting. In the home ground, England is over the brighter side than Australia. But few analysts also predict that the series would end in a draw as one match somewhere gets affected by rain. No predictions were on the positive side of Australians due to the deficiency in batting and the impact of the foreign ground.
Who will win the Ashes? ENGLAND. As more audience favour towards shorter format game, the heritage of long format is getting lost somewhere. But Ashes has managed to gain popularity even today by giving a new freshness to usual empty seats of the stadium. Ashes is a great exhibition of test cricket where fans cheer for every player on the ground. Ashes is marked as the test series that will uplift the fading popularity of test cricket. England will fight their best against Australia to get back the ashes.