18 months after their 4-0 loss to Australia in the last Ashes series, England host their rivals again this summer.
The teams will battle it out across five Test Matches for the honour of being The Ashes series winners.
In this preview article, we’ll take a look back at the history of this showpiece event of the summer.
Additionally, we will also take a look at how the 2023 Ashes Series is shaping up.
That includes a quick look through both the squads named for the series so far by both teams, as well as the full schedule of games and of course, we will give you our tips for the First Test and the Ashes series as a whole too.
Odds for those tips will be courtesy of bet365 Sport, who have an excellent choice of betting available already for The Ashes series.
You can find more markets available closer to the start date and of course, extensive In Play betting on the action too.
So let’s begin with a look back at the history of this famous cricketing rivalry, which owes its name to a mock obituary published way back in 1883.
The History of the Ashes – FAQ
- Who competes in The Ashes?
England and Australia are the teams that compete in a now-standardised five test series every two years, with the venue alternating between the English Summer (June/July/Aug) and the Australian Summer (Dec/Jan/Feb).
- How did the name The Ashes come to be used for the series?
The term The Ashes was used in a mock obituary in 1883, when Australia defeated England, in England in what is viewed as the first Ashes series.
The result was a hugely surprising one for England, given that they were the cricketing powerhouse in the world at that time, and it led to The Sporting Post mocking up an obituary that told of the “death of English cricket.”
The final line referred to the remains being cremated and “The Ashes” taken back to Australia by the victorious touring Australian team.
For the next couple of series, the term was referred to by the captains of both teams, but fell out of use for around 20 years or so until 1903, when the term once again caught on when used in newspaper reports at that time.
Since then, the series has been known almost universally as The Ashes.
- Who has won the most Ashes Series?
Australia has won the most Ashes series with 34 wins to England’s 32 with just six series drawn of the 72 played over the years.
- Who has won the most Ashes Series test matches?
Ahead of the 2023 Ashes Series, there have been 356 Ashes Test Matches played in the series and Australia have won the most tests with 150 wins. England have 110 victories while 96 test matches have finished as a draw.
A number of heavy defeats for England, especially in Australia, from the mid-1990s right the way through to the modern day, has seen Australia increase the number of tests won over England markedly.
- When was the most controversial Ashes Series contested and why was it so contentious?
The most contentious Ashes Series occurred in the 1932/33 Ashes Series in Australia and it became known famously as the Bodyline Series.
After Australian batting legend Don Bradman had smashed England’s bowling attack in the previous Ashes series in England, the new captain of the English test team, Douglas Jardine, was trying to find a weakness in Bradman’s armour that England could exploit in Australia.
Watching Bradman in action, Jardine realised that Bradman, and other top Australian batsmen, often had problems with short-pitched balls that turned in towards his body.
The controversy was that while not outlawed in cricket, it was viewed as ungentlemanly and certainly against the spirit of the game to bowl these balls at batsmen because of the danger that they posed of causing injury.
Under instruction from Jardine, England’s fast bowlers, Bill Voce, Bill Bowes and most famously Harold Larwood used bodyline tactics to help England to a 4-1 series win in Australia.
Outlined below are some of the most famous records in the Ashes series.
Most Runs In A Single Ashes Series
- Don Bradman (Australia) – 974 runs in 7 innings (1930)
- Wally Hammond (England) – 905 runs in 9 innings (1928/29)
Bradman and Hammond are the only two batsmen to have scored over 900 runs in a series in Ashes history.
Most Runs In A Single Ashes Innings
- Len Hutton (England) – 364 (v Australia, Aug 1938)
- Don Bradman (Australia) – 334 (v England, Jul 1930)
- Bob Simpson (Australia) – 311 (v England, Jul 1964)
- Bob Cowper (Australia) – 307 (v England, Feb 1966)
- Don Bradman (Australia) – 304 (v England, Jul 1934)
These five innings are the only time a batsman has scored over 300 in a single test innings.
Don Bradman also has four of the highest test innings in an Ashes Series in the top ten (334, 304, 270 and 254).
He also has four further scores of over 200 in an Ashes series.
Post 1970, the highest score by a player is Justin Langer’s 250 for Australia in Dec 2002 and for England it is Alistair Cook’s 244 not out in Dec 2017.
Most Wickets Taken in Ashes History
- Shane Warne (Australia) – 195
- Glenn McGrath (Australia) – 157
- Hugh Trumble (Australia) – 141
- Stuart Broad (England) – 131
- Dennis Lillee (Australia) & Ian Botham (England) – 128
Now that we have taken a look at some of the Ashes records and the history of the tournament, let’s now focus in on what the 2023 Ashes Series has to offer.
The 2023 Ashes Series
The 2023 Ashes will take place across England in June and July. It is a five-test series played at five different venues across the England as scheduled below:
- First Test – 16th to 20th June – Edgbaston, Birmingham
- Second Test – 28th June to 2nd July – Lord’s, London
- Third Test – 6th – 10th July – Headingley Carnegie, Leeds
- Fourth Test – 19th to 23rd July – Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester
- Fifth Test – 27th to 31st July – The Oval, London
As is customary, if the series results in a draw, then the holders (Australia) would retain the Ashes.
Australia have won the past two Ashes series on home soil 4-0.
But four years ago they retained the Ashes by drawing with England 2-2.
That series is best remembered for Ben Stokes iconic partnership with tailender Jack Leach (below).
This stand steered England to an unlikely and Ashes-saving 1-wicket victory in the third test.
- (wk) wicketkeeper.
- (s) spin bowler
- (C) captain of the team
England Squad (for first 2 tests)
- Batsmen – Jonny Bairstow (wk), Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope
- All-Rounders – Ben Stokes (C), Ollie Robinson
- Bowlers – James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach (s) – out through injury, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Josh Tongue, Matthew Potts
England are expected to announce a replacement for the injured Jack Leach within the next few days.
Australian Test Touring Squad
- Batsmen – David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Matt Renshaw, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Alex Carey (wk), Jimmy Peirson, Josh Inglis (wk)
- All-Rounders – Cameron Green, Mitchell Marsh
- Bowlers – Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon (s), Pat Cummins (C), Scott Boland, Todd Murphy (s)
What Are Our Top Ashes 2023 Betting Tips?
Outlined below are the top betting tips, with odds provided by bet365 Sport, for the Ashes First Test.
Also we include bets for the series itself.
- To Win The Ashes – Australia – 11/10
- Series Correct Score – Australia to win 2-1 – 12/1
- Series Top Run Scorer – Marnus Labuschagne (Australia) – 5/1
- To Win The First Test – Draw – 5/1
Tune in on the 16th June to catch the first ball of what promises to be a very exciting and intriguing Ashes summer!