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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 August 2005, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Ashes urn to return to Australia
The Ashes urns
The crystal Ashes urn alongside its more famous counterpart
Cricket's most famous trophy, the Ashes urn, will be sent to Australia in 2006, regardless of who wins this year.

The wooden urn, which dates back to Australia's victory in the 1882 series, has not been Down Under since 1988.

It was to have travelled with the England team on the last Ashes tour in 2002, but needed to undergo repairs.

"We will liaise with Cricket Australia about the best place for it to be displayed," said a spokesman for the MCC, guardians of the legendary urn.

The next tour will mark the 20th anniversary of England's last Ashes-winning campaign, when Mike Gatting's team featuring Ian Botham and David Gower won the five-Test series 2-1.

Following England's defeat by Australia at The Oval in 1882, The Times published an obituary lamenting the "death" of English cricket.

Folklore has it that England captain Ivo Bligh was presented with the ashes from a bail in when his team won the next series between the teams in Australia the following winter.

The Australian-born widow of Bligh presented the urn to the MCC following the death of her husband in 1927.

The winners of this year's Ashes series, one of the most intriguing in history, will be presented with a crystal replica of the original.




SEE ALSO
Ashes urn mended
22 Jan 04 |  Cricket


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