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Last Updated: Thursday November 25 2010 14:53 GMT

England kick off Ashes campaign in Australia

Kid tells Newsround who he's backing for this year's Ashes

Fans tell us who will win the Ashes

The battle between England and Australia for The Ashes, one of cricket's oldest sporting battles, has kicked off.

The first of five Test matches began on Thursday in Brisbane, Australia.

England are hoping to keep hold of the Ashes after their 2009 victory at home - but the Brits haven't won it in Australia in 24 years!

The pressure is also on Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting, who's already lost two Ashes series as captain.

The Ashes 2010 first Test - Australia captain Ricky Ponting tosses a coin, as England captain Andrew Strauss looks on. England won and chose to bat first

Before the competition, England captain Andrew Strauss said he was confident his side could retain The Ashes.

All of his team's players are fit and injury free.

Test matches

The Ashes series is made up of five Test matches. Each Test match can last up to five days and each side can bat up to two times. Whichever side scores more runs wins the Test.

Each Test takes place in a different city, with the last one starting in Sydney on 3 January 2011. The nation that wins the most Tests takes the Ashes. Simple!

Ashes history

The five Ashes Test matches
The Ashes urn
Nov 25-29 Brisbane
Dec 3-7 Adelaide
Dec 16-20 Perth
Dec 26-30 Melbourne
Jan 3-7 Sydney

The Ashes were created back in 1882, when the English cricket team were beaten on home soil for the first time - by the Aussies!

A newspaper called the Sporting Times ran a pretend obituary saying that English cricket was dead and its ashes had gone to Australia.

Ever since then, the two nations have been fighting each other to win the Ashes trophy, a small urn containing ashes from a burnt cricket bail.