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The Ashes Cricket: A Historic Rivalry Between Australia and England


The Ashes, the renowned cricket series between Australia and England, has captivated cricket fans worldwide for over a century. With a rich history that dates back to 1882, this fierce competition has witnessed numerous memorable moments, exceptional performances, and intense battles between the two cricketing giants. Let’s delve into the enthralling history of the Ashes, exploring the series’ winners, top-performing batsmen, and formidable bowlers throughout the years.

The Ashes Winners and Top Performers (1882-2021)

Year Winner Top Batsman Top Bowler
1882 ENG WL Murdoch (AUS) FR Spofforth (AUS)
1884 ENG HJH Scott (ENG) GEM Lawson (ENG)
1886 ENG HJH Scott (ENG) GEM Lawson (ENG)
1887 ENG CTB Turner (AUS) JJ Ferris (AUS)
1888 ENG HJH Scott (ENG) JJ Ferris (AUS)
1890 ENG JJ Lyons (AUS) JJ Ferris (AUS)
1891 ENG JJ Lyons (AUS) JJ Ferris (AUS)
1892 ENG J Darling (AUS) CTB Turner (AUS)
1893 ENG GJ Bonnor (AUS) CTB Turner (AUS)
1894 ENG J Briggs (ENG) GJ Bonnor (AUS)
1895 ENG W Rhodes (ENG) GA Lohmann (ENG)
1896 ENG J Darling (AUS) GJ Bonnor (AUS)
1897 ENG AE Stoddart (ENG) GH Hirst (ENG)
1898 ENG J Darling (AUS) H Trumble (AUS)
1899 ENG R Abel (ENG) GH Hirst (ENG)
1901 ENG R Abel (ENG) SF Barnes (ENG)
1902 AUS C Hill (AUS) H Trumble (AUS)
1903 ENG MA Noble (AUS) SF Barnes (ENG)
1904 ENG WM Rhodes (ENG) SF Barnes (ENG)
1905 ENG P Perrin (ENG) SF Barnes (ENG)
1907 ENG C Hill (AUS) GH Hirst (ENG)
1909 ENG MA Noble (AUS) SF Barnes (ENG)
1911 AUS R Foster (ENG) C Kelleway (AUS)
1912 ENG CB Fry (ENG) SF Barnes (ENG)
1920 ENG HL Collins (AUS) J Ryder (AUS)
1921 ENG WL Hamilton (AUS) JR Gunn (ENG)
1924 ENG A Sandham (ENG) JM Gregory (AUS)
1926 ENG J Ryder (AUS) H Larwood (ENG)
1928 ENG DG Bradman (AUS) A Freeman (ENG)
1930 AUS DG Bradman (AUS) H Larwood (ENG)
1932 ENG DG Bradman (AUS) H Larwood (ENG)
1934 ENG H Sutcliffe (ENG) H Verity (ENG)
1936 AUS DG Bradman (AUS) W Voce (ENG)
1938 ENG DG Bradman (AUS) W Voce (ENG)
1946 ENG DG Bradman (AUS) KR Miller (AUS)
1948 AUS DG Bradman (AUS) R Pollard (AUS)
1950 ENG L Hutton (ENG) FR Brown (ENG)
1953 ENG AR Morris (AUS) FR Brown (ENG)
1954 ENG AR Morris (AUS) FR Brown (ENG)
1956 ENG KR Miller (AUS) G Laker (ENG)
1958 ENG AR Morris (AUS) FS Trueman (ENG)
1961 AUS RB Simpson (AUS) FS Trueman (ENG)
1962 AUS RB Simpson (AUS) FS Trueman (ENG)
1964 ENG WM Lawry (AUS) FS Trueman (ENG)
1965 ENG RB Simpson (AUS) FS Trueman (ENG)
1968 ENG KF Barrington (ENG) DL Underwood (ENG)
1970 ENG GS Chappell (AUS) DL Underwood (ENG)
1972 ENG GS Chappell (AUS) DL Underwood (ENG)
1974 ENG DL Amiss (ENG) DK Lillee (AUS)
1975 ENG IR Redpath (AUS) DL Underwood (ENG)
1977 ENG RB McCosker (AUS) M Hendrick (ENG)
1978 ENG CH Lloyd (ENG) IT Botham (ENG)
1981 ENG G Boycott (ENG) IT Botham (ENG)
1982 AUS DI Gower (ENG) TG Copeland (AUS)
1985 ENG DC Boon (AUS) IT Botham (ENG)
1986 ENG DC Boon (AUS) IT Botham (ENG)
1989 AUS AR Border (AUS) IT Botham (ENG)
1990 ENG MA Taylor (AUS) MG Hughes (AUS)
1993 ENG AR Border (AUS) M Pringle (ENG)
1994 AUS MD Crowe (AUS) GD McGrath (AUS)
1997 AUS MA Taylor (AUS) GD McGrath (AUS)
1998 AUS MJ Slater (AUS) GD McGrath (AUS)
2001 ENG ML Hayden (AUS) SCG MacGill (AUS)
2002 AUS ML Hayden (AUS) SK Warne (AUS)
2005 ENG KP Pietersen (ENG) SM Katich (AUS)
2006 AUS KP Pietersen (ENG) SK Warne (AUS)
2009 ENG MJ Clarke (AUS) JM Anderson (ENG)
2010 ENG MJ Clarke (AUS) JM Anderson (ENG)
2013 ENG M Clarke (AUS) SCJ Broad (ENG)
2013-14 AUS BA Stokes (ENG) MG Johnson (AUS)
2015 ENG SD Smith (AUS) SCJ Broad (ENG)
2017-18 AUS SD Smith (AUS) JM Anderson (ENG)
2019 ENG SPD Smith (AUS) SCJ Broad (ENG)
2021 ENG JM Anderson (ENG) JM Anderson (ENG)

The Birth of the Ashes (1882):

The Ashes series originated in 1882 when Australia defeated England at The Oval, England’s cricket ground. This unexpected victory prompted a satirical obituary declaring that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” Thus, the symbolic Ashes urn came into existence, marking the beginning of this epic cricketing rivalry.

Early Battles and Dramatic Victories:

The early years of the Ashes were characterized by intense battles and dramatic victories. England dominated the series during the late 19th century, with players like HJH Scott and WG Grace leaving an indelible mark on the competition. Notable performances by Australians such as WL Murdoch and FR Spofforth kept the contests fiercely competitive.

Australia’s Ascendancy and Bradman’s Era:

The interwar period witnessed a shift in dominance as Australia rose to prominence. Led by the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, who recorded astounding batting averages, Australia dominated the Ashes throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Bradman’s remarkable batting prowess cemented his place as one of the greatest cricketers of all time.

The Ashes Epics and Memorable Moments:

The Ashes series has witnessed numerous epic encounters and unforgettable moments over the years. From thrilling comebacks to nail-biting finishes, the battles between Australia and England have enthralled cricket enthusiasts. Notable instances include the “Bodyline” series of 1932-33 and Ben Stokes’ heroic innings in the 2019 Headingley Test.

Recent Years and Contemporary Heroes:

In recent times, the Ashes has continued to captivate fans with its fiercely competitive nature. Both teams have showcased exceptional talent, with standout performers like Steve Smith, Alastair Cook, Jimmy Anderson, and Stuart Broad entertaining crowds with their remarkable skills.


The Ashes, an unparalleled cricketing spectacle, has provided cricket fans with decades of thrilling matches, incredible performances, and intense rivalries. From its humble beginnings in 1882 to the present day, this historic series between Australia and England has become a symbol of excellence in the sport. As fans eagerly await the next chapter of the Ashes, the excitement and anticipation surrounding this legendary contest continue to grow.

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