THE ASHES- How a perfume jar formed the greatest rivalry in cricket?
On 29th August 1882, England lost a cricket match to Australia at the Oval which was their first loss on home soil. The sporting times published a mock obituary that said that English cricket died at the oval and its ashes would be taken to Australia. It was then that Sir Ivo Bligh decided to win back the ashes next time they toured down under. While playing the scheduled three test matches against the national team the English also played a social match at Rupertswood Estate outside Melbourne which they won. After their win, a lady named Florence Morphy, who was the daughter of the minister of Rupertsswood decided to gift Ivo Bligh with something which could be taken as the reward of winning the Ashes. So Florence burnt the bails used in that match and put the Ashes in a perfume jar and gave it to Ivo Bligh. That perfume jar now symbolized the actual meaning of the fight for the Ashes.
After recognizing that the two teams would like to compete for an actual trophy the MCC came to a decision of commissioning an urn-shaped Waterford crystal trophy which was first presented to Mark Taylor after his Australian team emerged victorious in the 1998-99 Ashes series. Since then this trophy is given to the winning captain every time England and Australia clash in a test series. The Ashes urn formed the centerpiece of the MCC Ashes exhibition held in 2006-2008. The urn is now kept at the MCC museum at the Lords.
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