The Ashes stretches back to the 29th August 1882 when England lost their first cricket game to Australia on home soil at The Oval. The term was derived from the newspaper The Sporting Times which printed a mock obituary to English Cricket stating "The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia".
As the story goes, the Ashes are represented by a small terracotta urn which was to become the symbol of the Ashes. The English cricket captain at the time, Hon Ivo Blig, vowed to reclaim the Ashes when they returned to Australia and so the tradition has remained ever since. The urn is kept at Marylebone Cricket Club but a trophy is presented to the captain of the winning team, with the actual urn remaining at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Australia has won the title 31 times and has been the most successful team to date. England re-claimed the Ashes with a 2-1 victory in 2009 and Captain Andrew Strauss receiving the award.