The Ultimate Guide to Understanding The Ashes Series for Dummies

The ashes series is a biennial cricket event between england and australia. It comprises five test matches played over a period of six weeks.

The ashes series is one of the most highly anticipated events in the world of cricket. The rivalry between england and australia dates back to 1882 when australia beat england on english soil for the first time. In 1884, a mock obituary for english cricket was published, and its ashes were taken to australia.

The first official ashes series took place in 1887-88, and since then, the two teams have played against each other 71 times. The series is named after the little urn that contains the ashes of a burnt cricket ball, which is presented to the winning team. The ashes series is not just about cricket; it’s about national pride, passion, and the innate desire to outdo your opponent.

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding The Ashes Series for Dummies


Introduction: Cricket Jargon For Beginners

The ashes series is a prestigious and exciting event in the world of cricket that takes place every two years between the cricketing rivals, australia, and england. However, the game of cricket might seem confusing and daunting for newbies. Therefore, we have created this blog post, the ashes series for dummies, to explain all the crucial elements of the event for beginners.

Let’s start with some essential cricket jargon that every beginner should be familiar with.

Getting To Know The Basics: What Is Cricket And Why Is It So Popular?

Cricket is an outdoor sport played with a bat and a ball between two teams of eleven players. The game’s objective is to score as many runs as possible by hitting the ball and running between the wickets placed at each end of a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch.

Cricket is wildly popular for several reasons, such as:

  • It is played and followed internationally, making it a truly global sport.
  • The game provides a great mix of physical fitness, skill, and strategy.
  • It has a rich history, traditions, and culture that make it exciting and captivating.
  • The rivalries between different nations and teams create a dramatic and intense atmosphere during matches.

Cricket Vs Baseball- What’S The Difference?

Cricket and baseball are two similar yet distinct games. While they both involve hitting a ball with a bat, there are notable differences between the two, such as:

  • Cricket is played on a circular or oval-shaped pitch, while baseball is played on a diamond-shaped field.
  • In cricket, the bowler throws the ball overhand, while the pitcher in baseball throws the ball underhand.
  • Cricket has eleven players on each team, while baseball has nine.
  • Runs in cricket can be scored in multiple ways, while, in baseball, runs can only be scored by rounding all four bases.

Terminologies Every Ashes Fan Must Know

To fully understand and enjoy the ashes series, it’s necessary to become familiar with some of the game’s terminologies. Here are some of the essential cricket terminologies everyone should know:

  • Wickets: Three wooden stumps topped by two bails that the bowler aims to hit to dismiss the batsman.
  • Bowler: The player who bowls or pitches the ball to the batsman.
  • Batsman: The player who tries to hit the bowler’s ball and score runs.
  • Run: The unit of scoring in cricket measured by the number of times the batsman crosses and touches the crease.
  • Boundary: The rope-lined perimeter of the pitch that marks the edge of the playing area.
  • Lbw: Leg before wicket – a type of dismissal in which the ball strikes the batsman’s leg before hitting the wicket.

These are only a few of the many cricket terminologies that you’ll come across during the ashes series. Try to familiarize yourself with them before diving into the matches.

That’s it for now about the jargon of cricket and the subtle differences between cricket and baseball. With this knowledge, you are ready to watch, understand, and enjoy the ashes series like a pro.

History Of The Ashes Series

How And Why Did The Ashes Begin?

The ashes, one of the most famous and highly anticipated cricket test series in the world, began in the year 1882. The reason behind the name, the ashes, seems to be rooted in a joke. During this time, england had lost its first match against australia on their home ground at kennington oval.

The sporting times, an english newspaper, printed a piece stating that english cricket had died and that its ashes would be taken to australia. Thus, when england traveled to australia the following year, sporting headlines proclaimed “the english cricket team is off to reclaim the ashes.

” The name of this legendary rivalry was born, and it has remained ever since.

The Iconic Urn – What’S The Story Behind It?

The ashes series doesn’t have a trophy but rather a tiny urn that sits in the marylebone cricket club museum. The urn is believed to be the remains of a burnt cricket bail, and it is said to be a symbol of the ashes of english cricket collected after australia won the match in 1882.

Over the years, there has been a great deal of speculation and controversy over whether the contents of the urn are, in fact, the ashes of burnt bails. But the urn itself has come to symbolize the long-standing and intense rivalry between the two nations.

The urn only makes an appearance in england and is not part of the prize that is given to the winning team.

The Most Memorable Moments From The Ashes History

Since its inception, there have been many unforgettable moments in the ashes cricket test series. Here are some of the most significant ones:

  • 1902 – england won the match by one wicket, leading to the headline, “a sticky end,” as the pitch had become sticky because of a rain shower.
  • 1932 – the bodyline tour by england, where fast bowlers bowled at batsmen’s bodies to limit scoring. This tactic was extremely controversial and led to changes in the rules of cricket.
  • 2005 – a closely contested series with both teams winning two matches each, but england prevailed with a final test victory, ending a 16-year wait for an ashes win.
  • 2009 – england recorded their first ashes win in australia for 24 years.
  • 2010-11 – england retained the ashes in australia for the first time in 24 years, winning the series 3-1.
  • 2019 – in an extraordinary match, england beat australia by just one wicket in a nail-biting finish, with ben stokes scoring a stunning century.

The ashes has been full of memorable moments. Every time australia and england take to the field, the two nations will continue to make history in their legendary rivalry.

Understanding The Teams

The ashes series is one of the most highly anticipated cricket tournaments in the world. With two world-class teams, the australian cricket team and the english cricket team, battling it out for the coveted urn, it’s a competition that has captured the imaginations of millions of fans worldwide.

Understanding the teams is crucial to appreciating the drama that unfolds on the pitch. Here’s everything you need to know!

The Australian Cricket Team

The australian cricket team is one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport, with an impressive record in the ashes series. Here’s what you need to know about them:

  • Their squad: The current australian team is a well-balanced group of players that includes seasoned veterans and promising young talent.
  • Rankings and key players: The team is currently ranked third in the world in test cricket. Some of its key players include david warner, steve smith, pat cummins, and mitchell starc.
  • Strengths: The australian team has a solid batting lineup and a potent bowling attack. They excel in fast bowling, which can pose a serious challenge to any opposition.
  • Weaknesses: They have had a bit of an issue with consistency in recent years and have struggled to find a reliable spinner.

The English Cricket Team

The english cricket team is a powerhouse on the international stage and has a long and storied history in the ashes series. Here’s what you need to know about them:

  • Their squad: The current english team is also a well-balanced group that boasts some exceptional talent in both batting and bowling.
  • Rankings and key players: The team is currently ranked fourth in the world in test cricket. Top performers for the team include joe root, ben stokes, james anderson, and jofra archer.
  • Strengths: The english team has a strong batting lineup and a formidable bowling attack. Their strength lies in bowling, specifically swing bowling, which can be tough to handle for any team.
  • Weaknesses: They have had some difficulties with consistency, especially in the batting department. Additionally, they have struggled to find a reliable spinner.

Both teams are evenly matched and have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s going to be an exciting battle between two cricketing giants, and fans can expect to see some thrilling performances from both sides.

The Ashes Series Format

The ashes series format is a five-match test series that takes place between australia and england. This prestigious cricket contest is one of the most celebrated events in the sporting world.

The Five Test Matches – What To Expect?

As the name suggests, the ashes series consists of five test matches, with each match being played in a different stadium across australia and england. The series is held every two years, with each team taking a turn to host the event.

Each test match lasts for five days, and both teams bat and bowl twice. And, at the end of the series, the team that has won the most number of tests is declared the winner of the ashes.

The Toss And Its Importance

The toss is a significant event that occurs before the start of each test match. The captain of each team nominates “heads” or “tails” and a coin is flipped. The winning captain decides whether their team will bat or bowl first in the match.

Winning the toss is often crucial as it gives the captain the opportunity to control the conditions. The decision to bat or bowl first will often depend on the team’s strengths and the current weather and pitch conditions.

The Scoring System In The Ashes – How Does It Work?

The scoring system in the ashes is pretty straightforward. The winner of each test match receives four points, and two points are awarded for a draw. In the event of a tied match, both teams receive three points each.

As mentioned earlier, the series consists of five test matches, with a total of 20 points up for grabs. The team with the most number of points at the end of the series wins the ashes.

To summarize, the ashes series format is a five-match test series between australia and england. Each test match is played over five days, with both teams batting and bowling twice. The toss is an integral part of each match, and the winner of each test receives four points.

The team with the most points at the end of the series wins the ashes.

What To Expect From The Series?

The ashes series is a top-tier international cricket competition between two fierce rivals: england and australia. This highly anticipated tournament has a rich history dating back to 1882, and it captures the attention of cricket fans from all around the globe.

We will discuss what to expect from the series, including predictions, key players and their roles, and what makes this rivalry so special.

Predictions For The Upcoming Ashes Series

The upcoming ashes series promises to be an exciting battle between two world-class teams. Here are some predictions for the tournament:

  • Both teams have a strong batting and bowling line-up, but australia holds an edge over england in terms of recent form.
  • England will have home advantage, and they will try to capitalize on this by playing on familiar pitches.
  • Weather conditions may play a significant role in the tournament, with rain expected throughout the series.

Key Players And Their Roles

The ashes series boasts some of the world’s best cricket players, and it is essential to know who will have an impact on the competition. Here are some of the key players to look out for:

  • Joe root (england captain): He is one of the most technically proficient batsmen in the world and will lead england from the front.
  • Steve smith (australia): He is in terrific form and is considered the best contemporary test cricketer. He will be the key for australia in this series.
  • James anderson (england): He is the leading wicket-taker in england’s history and is a lethal weapon in english conditions.
  • Pat cummins (australia): His blistering pace and accuracy make him a potent bowler in all conditions.
  • Ben stokes (england): He is an all-rounder who can contribute with both bat and ball in all three formats of cricket.

The Rivalry – What Makes Ashes Special?

The ashes is a cricket contest that transcends the sport itself. It is a traditional rivalry and an expression of the historical, cultural, and sporting relations between england and australia. Here’s what makes the ashes so special:

  • The ashes is a contest steeped in history and tradition; it is a battle that both nations take very seriously.
  • The series is played over five tests, giving ample opportunities for each team to come back from adverse situations.
  • The media coverage surrounding the ashes is massive, and the matches attract large crowds and tv audience worldwide.

The ashes series is an exciting and highly anticipated cricket tournament that never disappoints. With both teams possessing top-quality players, fans can expect an exhilarating and closely contested battle. As we prepare for this series, keep an eye out for these key players and the captivating rivalry between england and australia.

Frequently Asked Questions On The Ashes Series For Dummies

What Is The Ashes Series In Cricket?

The ashes is a biennial test cricket competition between england and australia, which began in 1882 and has continued ever since. The ashes is considered one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in international cricket.

How Long Does The Ashes Series Last?

The ashes series lasts for five test matches, spread over a period of six weeks, with each match played over five days. The series alternates between england and australia, with each team playing three matches at home and two away.

What Is The History Behind The Ashes Series?

The ashes series originated in 1882 when australia beat england for the first time on english soil. A mock obituary was published in a british newspaper declaring that english cricket had died and the ashes had been taken to australia.

The urn representing the ashes was then created, and the series has been played ever since.

What Is The Significance Of Winning The Ashes Series?

Winning the ashes series is a massive achievement for any cricket team as it is one of the oldest and most prestigious cricket competitions in the world. The rivalry between the two teams is intense, and both teams fight hard to claim the ashes urn.

Winning the ashes is a matter of national pride for both countries.


The ashes series may seem daunting to some, but with a basic understanding of the game and the series itself, anyone can appreciate and enjoy this historic and intense competition. From the origin story of the series to the current state of play, the ashes is a window into the heart of cricket, rooted in tradition yet always evolving.

Whether you are a seasoned cricket fan or a beginner, the thrill of watching two of the world’s best teams go head to head in a battle for glory is undeniable. The ashes is a true test of skill, sportsmanship, and endurance, and every match is sure to leave fans on the edge of their seats.

So grab your favorite snacks, settle in for a day (or five) of intense cricket, and experience the magic of the ashes for yourself.

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