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Ashes History - 1861-1914 [1921-1938 | 1946-1970 | 1970-Present]
by Dave Liverman

First English tour of Australia takes place under HH Stephenson. Test matches are not to be played for another 16 years, and the Ashes as such will not be contested until 20 years later. Most games were played against odds. Charles Lawrence stays behind after the tour and is instrumental in the first Australian tour to England.

Second English tour of Australia by George Parr's team, which is unbeaten in all games, none of which are on even strength.

First Australian tour of England as an Aboriginal team visits England. Promoter Charles Lawrence brings a team of 13 to England, who play 47 games, despite losing one of their number to tuberculosis, and the early departure of two others.

Tour of mixed professional and amateur English team under WG Grace. All games are played against odds.

Test cricket starts at Melbourne on the 15th March, 1877, as the First Test Match is won by Australia. Alfred Shaw bowls the first ball to Charles Bannerman, who scores the first test run, and later, the first Test century. Bannerman's innings of 165 composed 67% of his side's total, a record that stands to today. The England team is entirely professionals, without such players as WG Grace, and the Australian team is composed entirely of Sydney and Melbourne players.
Australia 1 England 1.

First full Australian tour of England. No Tests are played. The Australians beat the MCC in a single day. Spofforth takes 6 for 4 and 4 for 16, and at the other end Boyle takes 3-14 and 6 for 3. Spofforth takes 357 wickets on the tour at an average of 7.18

A mostly amateur team under Lord Harris tours Australia
Australia 1 England 0.

The first Test match played in England is won by the hosts, with WG Grace scoring 152. His brother GF Grace makes a "pair" and 4 weeks later dies from a fatal chill after sleeping in a damp bed. Spofforth takes 391 wickets on tour at an average of 5.63.
England 1 Australia 0. 1881/82
Shaw's team to Australia is well beaten in the Tests and rumours of match fixing surround their return.
Australia 2 England 0.

A sensational game at the Oval is won narrowly by Australia, who dismiss England for only 77 to win by 7 runs. Spofforth takes 14 for 90 in the match, and bowled his last 11 overs for 2 runs and 4 wickets. The first Australian win in England is marked by an obituary for English cricket - the origin of the Ashes.
Australia 1 England 0.

Bligh's team "recover the Ashes" despite drawing the Test series 2-2. The fourth game was considered unofficial, and so the Ashes Urn was presented to the Hon. Ivo Bligh after winning the 3rd Test.
Australia 2 England 2.

Murdoch's Australians tour England - Spofforth takes 207 wickets at 13.25 on the tour. In the final game, all eleven England players bowl in Australia's innings of 551, with the wicket-keeper Lyttelton taking 4-19, and his replacement WG Grace taking a catch from his first ball in Test cricket as a wicket-keeper.
England 1 Australia 0.

First 5 test series in Australia is played, with England winning 3-2 under Shrewsbury. First test in Adelaide is played. The tour is marred by disputes between the teams and between the Australian players and their State Associations over money. The entire Australian team from the previous team withdrew from the Melbourne test, thus allowing Samuel Morris, born in Tasmania of West Indian parents, to become the first black Test cricketer. The England player Barnes injured his hand in a fight with the Australian captain McDonnell during the First Test, and England with only 11 players on tour had to co-opt emigre Reginald Wood to play his only test.
England 3 Australia 2.

First tour to England that is organized by Melbourne CC rather than speculation by the players. George Giffen heads bowling and batting averages on the tour, but the Australians lose the Test series badly. Spofforth's last tour, injured in June, and took no further part.
England 3 Australia 0.

9th English team to tour Australia is all professional, with Lohmann taking 25 wickets for 189 runs in the Tests, won comfortably by England.
England 2 Australia 0.

Two English teams tour Australia simultaneously, joining to play a single Test. The Australian teams are far from representative, following further monetary disputes.
England 1 Australia 0.

CTB "The Terror" Turner and Ferris take 534 wickets on the England tour, but the weak Australian batting lets them down in the Tests. After winning a low scoring First Test, they go down to innings defeats in the remaining two.
England 2 Australia 1.

Murdoch's team to England again is handicapped by weak batting and Giffen's absence, losing both Tests played to a strong England side under WG Grace's captaincy.
England 2 Australia 0.

The 12th English team, under WG, is close to fully representative, but loses narrowly in the 3 test series after losing the first two. WG Grace's return to Australia after 18 years absence provokes great public interest.
Australia 2 England 1.

Blackham's team loses one Test and draws two. Trumble leads the bowling against a very strong England batting line up.

I'm aiming for an early return to the England side - Alec Stewart's Diary

Tufnell: It's a funny old game. . . sometimes

Jason Gillespie's Diary: Well played England, but now the aim is 4-1

New Aussie training kit

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