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The Ashes

Last Updated: Thursday November 25 2010 14:16 GMT

How did they start?

Australian cricketers celebrate

The story of the Ashes began way back in 1882 when England were beaten at home for the first time by Australia.

The series defeat shocked the sporting world at the time, and prompted The Sporting Times newspaper to print a pretend obituary to the death of English cricket.

The newspaper said the body of English cricket would be cremated and the ashes sent to Australia.

When England next toured Australia those ashes became real, in the form of the now famous urn.

Australian cricket bosses presented then England captain Ivo Bligh with a real set of ashes, made from a burnt bail, in a small pot.

These ashes, kept in a glass cage at Lord's, sparked the start of the tournament.

Controversy has surrounded the trophy in recent years, as Lords say it is too fragile to travel to Australia, even though they have won them quite a few times!

Guide to The Ashes