The Ashes

There is a tournament that occurs between Australia and England and it is called The Ashes, which is a test cricket series. It dates all the way back to the year of 1882, and it is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket. Cricket is considered as a summer sport, and they alternate playing this tournament between Australia and the United Kingdom. Their breaks that that take before each game, usually ranges from anywhere between 18 to 30 months at a time. Under the normal and regular rules for test match cricket, The Ashes compromises this series with five test innings and two innings per match. The country that has the Ashes has to retain them once a series has been drawn.

In 1882, The Sporting Times, which is a British newspaper, The Ashes series were named after satirical obituary. For the very first time in 1882, Australia beat English on English grounds for the first time at The Oval. View more about this match at So, when they published a piece in the obituary of The Sporting Times, they had stated that the English cricket had died, and that the body would be cremated and that Australia would take the ashes with them. Then in 1883, they wanted to have the match in Australia, so that England could regain the ashes and take them back to England with them. When they had arrived on this tour, a captain on the English team was presented with an urn. There have been many rumors that have stated that the ashes is actually from a piece of cricket equipment. They believe it to be a ball, stump, or a bail, however, a Countess had claimed that her mother-in-law had told her that it was actually the remains of a lady’s veil.

The AshesThere have been many tournaments that have been played between these two countries, and The Ashes have been passed back and forth between winners of the test cricket tournaments, however, they didn’t receive “The Ashes” name for a bit later. Around the year of 1925, there was a phrase adapted with the words “the ashes” in it, and then the name was adopted to the tournament. Get more information about The Ashes Series here. The original urn has never actually been passed between both countries. Therefore, it has only been passed between museums a few times, and it ended its travels in 2007 in an art gallery. The urn was considered to be too delicate to pass off to each team, and they did not want to break it or cause any type of damage to it. They replicated the urn so whenever England or Australia wins the tournament that they are playing, they can pass the replica off to the winning team and not cause any damage to the original. Australia was dominate for 20 years, and out of 10 tournaments, Australia won 9 of them. Therefore, when England had finally won the Ashes back, there was an uproar. It was considered a miracle and it was such a tremendous shock when England had finally won for the first time in a very long time.

Every time each team plays The Ashes cricket tournaments, they each play to win back the ashes. It is a continuous rivalry between Australia and England that has become an extremely popular event. The last series of the Ashes was held in 2013, and it was hosted by Australia this time. Australia won the five test matches series, and this was the first time that Australia had completed a “clean sweep” in the history of Ashes, and this feat was never matched by England. There are many individuals who anticipate the tournaments because of the rivalry between both countries. This sport is going to be appreciated for many years to come, and it is also going to be one of the most remembered sporting events as well. Everyone enjoys the battle of the two teams, and to see which team will be the one to take “The Ashes” back to their country with them until the next tournament. It started as a joking gesture over the winning team taking home the home teams winning prize, and it has continued as a joke and good fun throughout the centuries. Australia and England will be continuing these tournaments and these series far into the future, and will continue to take home the prize “Ashes” for whoever wins each series.

Ten surprise packages of this season

This Premier League season has been full of surprises. Unexpected teams are leading the Premier League table. Unexpected players have been leading goalscoring charts. Unexpected players are in the run for Player of the Year awards. You can bet on the premier league POTY award with William Hill. They can be quite tricky to use, so I advise you give this guide to their site a browse where you can learn how to claim a free bet with william hill.

This season will always be remembered for throwing so many surprises. So we take a look at the top ten surprise packages of this season.

  1. Kelechi Iheanacho (Man City)

It has turned out to be a disappointing season for Man City. They are currently placed fourth, only point ahead of West Ham and Man Utd, and are already out of the title race.

But, it has been a dream season for youngster Kelechi Iheanacho. The City academy graduate has managed to break into the team full of expensive stars.

The 19-year-old is the first academy graduate who has managed to progressed into City’s senior squad in a while.

He scored an impressive hat-trick against Aston Villa in FA Cup earlier this and has scored nine goals for City in all competitions this season.

Such has been his rise into the first team that manager Manuel Pellegrini has preferred him over Wilfried Bony in his starting eleven recently.

  1. Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)

Last two months have been nothing short of a dream for the 18-year old. He was given his senior debut after Anthony Martial suffered an injury in the build-up to the Europa League tie against FC Midtjylland.

He scored a brace in the 5-1 win against the Danish opponent. He continued the fairy-tale start to his career by scoring a brace and providing an assist in his next game- a 3-2 league win over Arsenal.

He further endeared himself to the United fans by scoring the only goal in the Manchester derby.

  1. Jesse Lingard (Man Utd)

Louis Van Gaal has gained many detractors this season, but no one can fault him for promoting youth talent at Old Trafford this season.

Jesse Lingard is another United academy product to find his name on this list.

Before the current season, Lingard had made only one appearance for the Red Devils. However, he has emerged as one of the key members of the United’s first team this season.

He made his first appearance of the season for the Red Devils in October and since then he has made 29 appearances for the Manchester club.

He has scored five goals, including four league goals, in those 29 appearances for Louis Van Gaal’s side.

  1. Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City)

The Austrian signed for Stoke City from Bundesliga club Werder Bremen in 2013. He has always proved to be a handful, but in his first two seasons with the Potters, he managed only five goals in 59 appearances.

However, he has been able to show his true potential at Britannia Stadium this season.

Surrounded by the brilliant talents of Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan Krkic and Ibrahim Affelay, he has managed to score ten league goals in 28 league appearances this season.

  1. Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)

Danny Drinkwater has been an ever-commanding presence in Leicester City’s midfield this season.

He has played a major role in the Foxes’ shocking run this season and has contributed with one goal and four assists in 29 league appearances.

His performances for the Foxes has earned him a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad, and he is expected to be a part of the Three Lions squad for the Euro Championships.

The 26-year old has been rightly called a ‘puppet master’ by his teammate Jamie Vardy.

  1. Odion Ighalo (Watford)

Goals have dried up for the Nigerian international of late, but his goalscoring form in the first part of the season ensured that the Hornets will be playing in Premier League for at least one more season.

His tally of 14 league goals in 30 appearances is still an impressive feat considering that it is his debut season in Premier League.

The 26-year old’s performances have seen him linked with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid in the transfer window.

  1. Dele Alli (Tottenham)

He has been a breath of fresh air in Tottenham squad this season. Spurs bought him for mere £5 million from MK Dons and what a signing he has turned out to be.

The 19-year-old has scored seven goals and provided nine assists in 29 league appearances in his first season in top flight football.

His performances have earned him rave reviews and also a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad.

German legend Lothar Matthaus last week called him the best player on the pitch in the Three Lions’ 3-2 win over World Champions.

He is only 19-years old and could very well develop into a world class talent in the coming years.

  1. N’Golo Kante (Leicester City)

The French midfielder has proved to be a shrewd signing from Claudio Ranieri. With the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy attracting all the plaudits for their performances this season, Kante has been doing all the dirty work for the Foxes.

He has shielded the Foxes’ goal on countless occasions with his tireless running and tackling.

He has averaged 4.4 tackles and 4.2 interceptions per game this season. His performances have also earned him a call to the France national team.


2) Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

The Leicester City forward is living a dream. He started the season in a spectacular manner and broke Rudd Van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 11 consecutive league games.

He has scored 19 goals and provided six assists this season. He carried his form to the national team and scored a wonderful flick against World Champions Germany last week.

Hollywood directors are even considering making a movie on his rags-to-riches story.

His performances this season earned him a new contract worth £80,000-a-week wages. The 29-year-old was playing non-league football four years ago. What a story this has been!

1) Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

Another Leicester City player on the list. It shouldn’t be a surprise keeping in mind the kind of season they are having.

The Algerian international cost only £350,000 to the Foxes and now there are talks that La Liga giants Barcelona are interested in his services.

He has scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists for the Foxes this season and is currently the frontrunner for the Player of the Year award.

The Rules of Cricket

Tournaments like the Ashes, IPL league and the crowd puller of all time, or the ICC world cup cricket, are the reason that the craze for cricket is ever growing. Get to know more about The Ashes here. Cricket is undoubted among the most popular sport around the world. In accordance, it is the most watched, most played, or is the most revenue generating sports worldwide.

Cricket is a game of two teams having eleven players on each side; one team will try to score by batting and score runs. On the other hand, the opponent will bowl and attempt to prevent the other team from scoring by fielding the ball and dismissing the batsmen. The objective is to score more runs than your opponent when at bat or dismissing the opposition’s batsman when in the field.


Although the origin of the game is debatable, there is speculation that it started as a children’s game. Adults adopted it, and later it became England’s national sport in the eighteenth century.

Betting among the aristocrats made the game popular, and it was in this context that new laws were drawn to help regulate the game. Similarly, “Noblemen and Gentlemen” who played on the artillery ground in 1774 drew codes or rules for cricket in London.

Some of the laws that govern the game today were written by certain noblemen and gentlemen, from Marylebone Cricket Club. Through the years, additional rules were added to improve the game and make it safer. Moreover, standardization of the weight of the ball, length and width of the bat plus the length of stumps were enhanced.

Although the rules of cricket differ slightly among the 50 over matches, the twenty20 cricket, and the Test cricket, we shall look at the rules of cricket for the Test cricket, which is a more traditional form of cricket.

The Rules of CricketThe Rules of cricket


In cricket, each team has eleven players and a reserve player called the “twelfth man.” He is a substitute in case a player is injured during a game. However, he is not allowed to bowl, bat, wicket-keep or even captain the team. His primary role is to act as a substitute fielder and in case the original player recovers, he is called off the field.

Two umpires are on the field to referee the game, and a third one is off the field in charge of video decisions. The third umpire is called upon to review the footage in the instance a call is too close for the field umpires. View more about rules of cricket at

Game structure

In Test cricket, a team needs to bowl out the opposing team twice while scoring more runs to win. Consequently, the game spans over two innings. Once the captain has won the coin toss done by an official, he chooses whether to bowl, the objective of the bowling team will be to bowl out ten players.

The batting team will try score runs and will be doing it in pairs. When all the batsmen are dismissed, an innings is closed. During a follow-on, the team that batted first can let the opposing team bat twice immediately, if or when they have scored less than 200 runs. It will enable the team that enforced the follow-on to win without batting again.

Scoring runs

To score one run, batsmen have to run to each other’s end. As well as running, they can score by hitting boundaries. A boundary score has four or six runs, a ‘four’ is when the ball hits the ground before the boundary, and a ‘six’ is the ball that passes the boundary without hitting the ground. Any runs after the four or six are canceled.

Below are some of the runs that can be scored and awarded to the team, but not the individual batter.

A no ball – The team can earn one run, and the batter can score a run off a no ball. However, for a no ball to occur three instances must be identified. First, the bowler has to bowl from a wrong place. Secondly, when the bowler straightens his elbow during delivery and bowls towards the body of the batsman it is declared dangerous. The third incidence is when any of the fielders are standing in illegal areas, or the ball bounces more than twice or even rolls before reaching the batsman.

A wide ball – When the ball bounces over the head of a batsman or he does not have an opportunity to score, an umpire can call the ball “wide”. A wide ball adds a run to the team, additionally, to any run scored by the batter. A wide delivery cannot dismiss a batsman unless he is stumped, run out, he knocks out his wicket or obstruct the field.

Bye and leg bye – Runs scored when a ball, which is neither a no ball nor a wide, passes the batsman it’s called a bye. A leg bye is a ball that hits the striker, but not his bat enabling him to still score a run. However, there is no score if the batsman did not try a stroke or avoid being hit.

Ways to get out

A bowler gets a wicket when he dismisses a batsman. A bowler for various reasons can give out a batsman, some of this reasons are listed below.

Bowled – During delivery when the ball hits any part of the batsman or bat, the batsman is given out. However, if the ball hits the umpire or another player, then the batsman is safe.

Caught – A ball caught by a fielder, bowler or wicket keeper before bouncing dismisses the batsman, as long as he touched the ball during delivery.

Leg before wicket (LBW) – During delivery, in a situation the ball hits the batsman and it would have hit the wicket if he were not there, but it was not pitched on the leg side of the wicket then the batsman is out. However, if the batsman was trying to strike the ball and he was hit outside the line on off the stump, then he is not out.

Stumped – The wicket keeper can dismiss the batsman by knocking down the wicket when he is out of his crease and not attempting to score a run.

Run out – While trying to run and no part of a batsman body or bat is inside his popping crease then the opposing team can somewhat put down his wicket.

Hit wicket – Cricket rules state that a batsman is out if he hits his wicket with his bat, body or while attempting his first run.

Handling the ball – A batsman is sent off if he handles the ball with the hand that is not holding the bat, this is without consent from the opposite team. The batsman is also out if he hits the ball twice other than purposefully trying to protect his wicket or with the approval of the opposing team.

Timed out – Once a batsman is given out, the incoming batsman must be at the non-striker’s end or ready to face the ball within three minutes; otherwise, he can be dismissed as well.

The twenty20 (T20) series has made the game more popular among the former colonies of Britain like India, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Caribbean making it essential to learn the rules. There are many rules of cricket; however, these basics will enable you to either play or watch the game better. Moreover, the important rules can be learned gradually.

A Close Look at The History of Cricket

Cricket is an exciting bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams of eleven players each. Cricket is played on a field at the center of which is a rectangular twenty-two yard-long pitch. Statistics show that this sport has over 130 million players in various countries around the globe. Only association football is more popular than this intriguing game. World Twenty20 Cricket is one term many cricket followers are acquainted with. This showcase features the best cricket players from around the world.

Cricket’s primary object is simple. Each team takes its turn to bat with the aim of scoring runs, while the opposing team is in the field. Each turn is known as an inning. The bowler delivers the ball to the batsman. The batsman makes an earnest effort to hit the ball with his bat to an area not occupied by the fielders. This will give him an opportunity to run to the other end of the pitch and score a run for his team.

Each batsman continues batting until he is out. The batting team continues batting until 10 batsmen are out, or a particular number of overs of six balls have been bowled. At this point, teams alternate roles and the fielding team gets an opportunity to bat.

Understanding the basic rules and strategy of Cricket can be done within a short period of time, but skill is required for one to excel in this intriguing game. Let’s take a closer look at the second most popular sport in the world.

A Close Look at The History of CricketCricket’s Humble Beginning

Early cricket has been compared to ancient games called stob-ball, club-ball, and stool-ball. Cricket historians state that the earliest games can be traced back to the Tudor times in 16th-century England. There is written evidence exists showing a game known as Creag being played at Newenden, Kent by Prince Edward in 1301.

The first written evidence of this fascinating game points toward France. A letter was written to King Louis XI by a gentleman named Estiavannet. Estiavannet went into details about a game being played by the townspeople of Liettres. According to Estiavannet, the villagers of Liettres used a wooden post and balls.

Some cricket historians feel that Estiavannet described a different game known as croquet. The most solid reference of cricket being played dates back to evidence that surfaced at a court case in 1598. This high-profile court case highlighted that “Creckett” was played in Guildford, Surrey during 1550. The court listened to the testimony of John Derrick. Derrick was a 59-year-old coroner who shared his account of his time at The Free School at Guildford. Derrick stated that he and his classmates played creckett on the common land. Derrick’s testimony sheds some light on the theory that Surrey may be the birthplace of cricket.

It is a common belief that cricket began as a children’s game, but it evolved into a suitable game for adults around 1610. Adults began to fall in love with the game during this time period. Unfortunately, a player was struck in the heard during a game in 1624. Jasper Vinall was killed while playing in a match between two rivalry teams in Sussex.

Cricket’s First Important Match

Multiple references show that growth of cricket in the south-eastern part of England during the 17th century. By the end of this illustrious century, it became an organized activity being played for premium stakes. It is widely believed that the first professionals of the game surfaced in the years after the Restoration period (1660). A historic newspaper report details an exciting cricket match with eleven players on each a side. The high-stakes match took place in Surrex in 1697. This classic match is the first known sign of a cricket match with great importance.

Cricket’s Major Development

The game underwent major changes during the 18th century. Cricket became the national sport of England. Rich patrons started forming their own “Select Xis”. Their activities opened the door to betting. Cricket was played by people from all walks of life in London as early as 1707. Huge crowds attended the matches that took place on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury. The crowds were attracted to the single wicket form of the game. Many attendants were known to place heavy wagers on their favorite teams.

Back in the 1730’s, Fredrick Prince of Wales played a huge role in developing of the sport. Read more about Fredrick Prince of Wales at The technique of bowling began around 1760 when bowlers began to pitch the ball instead of skimming or rolling it towards the batsman. The technique led to a new bat design. The change in bat design helped players deal with a bouncing ball. The conventional “hockey stick” shape made it difficult for players to make contact with the ball. The new design (modern straight bat) made it possible for batters to deal with bowling.

Cricket Clubs

The Hambledon Club was created in the 1760’s. It dominated the scene for two decades. The MCC was formed and The Lord’s Old Ground was opened for grand play. The Hambledon Club was a very popular club. Over time, The MCC quickly became the game’s premier club and the rightful custodian of the Laws of Cricket.

Controversial Laws

New laws were introduced to players at the end of the 18th century. This included the leg before wicket and the three stump wicket. The first round-arm technique replaced underarm bowling in the 19th century. These changes were very controversial. Critics felt that these changes were not good for the sport. Click here to know more about the rules of cricket.

A New Beginning

Organization of the game at the county level led to county clubs. The Sussex CCC was the first county club. It was established in 1839. The official County Championship was established in 1890.

The British Empire played a major role in taking the game overseas. In the 19th century, cricket became popular in South Africa, New Zealand, and in India. It also become popular in North America, the Caribbean, and Australia. The first international cricket match took place in 1844 between Canada and the United States.

Cricket Tours and Rivalries

A team of English players went overseas to challenge teams in America in 1859. The games were fantastic and intense. Another team of English players toured Australia. Australian and English players were well-known for their heated rivalry.


Cricket continued to expand during the 20th century with the addition of new countries. Cricket entered into a golden area in 1975. The Cricket World Cup put the sport on an international platform.

Cricket is an intriguing international game that attracts the attention of people from all walks of life. Despite its humble beginnings, it has emerged as the second most popular sport in the world. World Twenty20 Cricket continues to take the game’s popularity to another level.

The Ashes Series

Moments of sporting triumphs are made up of a roaring crowd, a shiny trophy, and an anthem soundtrack. However, when it comes to the Ashes, an urn is the cherished prize above all these. When the Australian cricket team won their first Cricket Test match on English soil, the sporting Times made a mock obituary the next day on 30th of August 1882. In conclusion, it meant that the losing team’s body was cremated, and the ashes were placed in the urn.

The Urn

The Ashes series is a five Test match, hosted by either England or Australia. After the loss to Australia in 1882, a few weeks later the English team was traveling to Australia, and the captain Ivo Bligh had vowed to return the ashes. England had won two out of the three Test matches, and it was after the match that Bligh was given the Urn by Melbourne women.

Replicas of the Urn and the term “The Ashes” was widely adopted by the sporting community ever since it was presented to Bligh. Although, he considered the Urn a personal gift his wife at upon his death and at his request bequeathed it to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Read more about Marylebone Cricket Club at

To fulfill the desires of the two teams in competing for an actual trophy, the MCC in the 1990s commissioned a Waterford crystal trophy in the shape of an urn. Mark Taylor, captain of the Australian team was the first to receive the official Urn when his side won the 1998/99 Test series. Today the real artifact resides at the MCC Museum at Lord’s. Thousands of visitors take the lords tour to see it.

Quest to recover the Ashes

The Ashes SeriesA team has to win the five-day Test match series to be awarded the Urn. A draw in the series results in the winner of the last series retaining the urn. As of August 2015, Australia has won 32 and England 32 with five draws. Since 1882, Australia has had 130 wins while England 106 wins and 89 draws. In order to truly appreciate the intensity we will look at the last three series. Click here to know more about The Ashes.

2010/2011 series

Five Tests were played, and England won the series 3 to 1 to retain the Ashes. The English team had never won the series on Australia’s backyard since 1986, which had been the start of Australia’s decade Ashes domination. Moreover, England’s win was the first that a team won three Tests by an innings margin.

England recorded an impressive innings of 644, which was the highest since 1938. Additionally, they scored more than 500, four times in a single series.

20013/2014 series

Australia’s build-up to the series was one to question, seeing that the batting lineup was weak because of retirements of Captain Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey. A suspension from David Warner following an off-field incident was not promising for the team.

England was looking for a third consecutive Ashes win over Australia; unfortunately, the series was filled with controversy. During Test five on the fourth day, there was no play because of the rain and on the fifth day, the umpire stopped play due to bad light.

The new ICC rules of allowing umpires to stop play due to bad light had caused criticism from media and fans. It is mainly because England had a three nil advantage going to the fifth test at the Oval. After facing an aggressive Australian side, England was close to achieving its first 4-0 victory in an Ashes series. However, the fifth test was a draw.

In 2013, there were two Ashes series held, the last one ending in 2014 hosted in Australia. The hosts won the five test matches 5-0. It was the third time Australia had achieved a clean sweep a feat that has never been matched by England.

2015 series

Australia had come to defend the Ashes and was looking to be the favorites in the series. England won the first Test in Cardiff while Australia took the second Test at Lords.

On the third day during the third Test, Peter Nevill and Mitchel Starc were able to extend Australia’s slender lead, but it was short lived when England’s bowlers returned to stop Australians innings at 265. Eventually, it was England who won by a good eight wickets to gain a 2-1 series lead.

The fourth Test saw Australia being bowled out for 253 ensuring England a good victory of 78 runs and an innings. There was only one change from the England’s side, Mark Wood was replacing the injured James Anderson. Australia’s change was Shaun Marsh replacing his brother Mitchel.

Before lunch on the first day, Australia was bowled out for 60 in 18.3 overs. Consequently, this was the least number of overs a team has been bowled for during a Test match in the first innings. England retained the Ashes with a game in hand.

Australia dominated the fifth Test from the get go. It was clear by the third day that England was facing an innings defeat. In the end, Australia won the match by innings and 46 runs.

The year 2015 proved that cricket is the most elusive sport to be played. Many cricket fans are still cherishing the conclusion of the last test match. Australia had won the fifth Test, but England won the series. Immediately after the end of the game, England was awarded the Ashes trophy.