A satirical obituary from 1882 mourned the death of English cricket after a match in which Australia won on English soil for the first time. The body would be cremated, the notice said, and the ashes taken to Australia. The great rivalry between England and Australia known as the Ashes had begun.
The trophy has changed hands regularly over the decades, with the two countries greatest players giving their all to establish the upper hand, although the urn said to be contain the true Ashes resides at Lords. Along the way, Ashes spectators have witnessed some of cricket’s most glorious moments, from the sensational high-scoring exploits of Don Bradman and Jack Hobbs to the derring-do of Ian Botham in 1981 and the almost unbearable tension of the incredible series of 2005.
There have been inspired bowling spells from the likes of Shane Warne, Bob Willis and Jim Laker; huge scores by Len Hutton, Bobby Simpson and others; and moments of heart-stopping brilliance in the field. This book provides detailed statistical and biographical information on the 100 greatest cricketers 50 English and 50 Australian to have battled for their country. Each of them has ensured the legend of the Ashes will never die.