Words on Ashes urn: what is written on trophy handed to victors of England vs Australia Test cricket series?

The Ashes is a small terracotta urn presented to the winner of the Test cricket series between England and Australia

The much anticipated Ashes 2021/22 series has arrived.

A lot has changed in the 18 months or so since England and Australia last locked horns in Test cricket for the Ashes.

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A global pandemic brought on by the Covid outbreak has added an extra challenge for both sides to contend with of late.

Both sides have experienced disrupted build ups due to the unseasonal weather - but there will be no excuses once the series starts.

England need to win the series to claim the Ashes while a draw will be good enough for Australia - this is what they're playing for...

What is the Ashes urn?

The Ashes is a small terracotta urn presented to the winner of the Test cricket series between England and Australia.

It stands at little more than 10 centimetres tall and is believed to contain the ashes of a burnt cricket bail.

The Ashes urn was presented as a personal gift to then England captain Ivo Bligh during the 1882/83 series in Australia.

Australia had beaten England the previous summer at the Kensington Oval which The Sporting Times newspaper had fun with.

In the days after, as a sense of dismay remained, a 'death notice' of English cricket appeared in the weekly publication.

It read: "In Affectionate Remembrance of English Cricket, which died at the Oval on 29th August 1882.

"Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R.I.P.

"N.B. - The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia."

Prior to leaving for Australia, Bligh vowed to bring back "The Ashes of England cricket." England won the series 2-1.

The Ashes squads. (Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)

What is written on the Ashes urn?

There are two labels pasted on the Ashes urn.

The top label simply says "The Ashes" while the bottom label is a six lined verse cut out from the Melbourne Punch magazine of 1 February 1883.

It reads: "When Ivo goes back with the urn, the urn;

"Studds, Steel, Read and Tylecote return, return;

"The welkin will ring loud,

"The great crowd will feel proud,

"Seeing Barlow and Bates with the urn, the urn;

"And the rest coming home with the urn."

Where is the Ashes urn now?

Following Ivo Bligh's death, the Ashes urn was presented to the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1929 and has been held in Lord's ever since.

A replica is presented to the winners of the Ashes series.

Who has won the most Ashes series?

The 2021/22 Test cricket series in Australia will be the 72nd edition of the Ashes.

England will be desperate to get their hands on the Ashes urn to reclaim the honour and level up the all-time statistics.

Australia have won the Ashes 33 times, England have won the series 32 times and there have been six draws so far.

The latest series draw was in 2019, remembered for Ben Stokes' heroics with the bat, but England will be hoping to go one better Down Under.

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