One day internationals, test matches, 'friendlies' and the more modern Twenty20 matches have all combined to ensure that each and every Ashes test match is made all the more special.
The Ashes series predates all other cricket contests. To many, the Ashes is more important than a world cup final, some statement considering the contest's between just two nations, and before 1998 there was no official trophy being contested for.
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The 'urn' which holds the Ashes is merely ceremonial, signifying triumph in one of the sports greatest (if not the greatest) rivalries. This is unlikely to change any time soon, if indeed ever.
The first official Ashes test series took place in Melbourne, 1882 which England won. Since that test in late 19th century Australia, the contest between two of the founders of cricket has been intense, aggressive, competitive and above all incredible entertainment.
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What is more, the rivalry has remained almost unchanged in its 133 year history; modernisation has had little noticeable impact on the way each of the teams prepare for sporting war. Tribal dissidence which would be expected in other sports is invisible, inaudible due to its perceived non existence.
The one constant in all this time, in addition to the intense rivalry, is the eternal respect shown by both nations.
Never has there been a moment of extraordinary controversy apparent in so many other sports including boxing and football.
The love hate relationship between the English and Australians is well known, but it is a constant subtext for those not familiar with the unique competition.
Priority has been given too, and always will be given too, the honour of the sport. All sports people and fans can seamlessly integrate this into our lives.
The success of the Ashes has expanded into the women's teams; such is its legacy and influence.
The unique beauty of the Ashes is that there have only ever been and only ever will be two nations competing for the one ultimate prize, namely good old fashioned pride.
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