The Ashes at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Test cricket endures as the premier event on the Sydney Cricket Ground calendar.

By Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

A History of The Ashes

Replica Ashes Urn, (Gifted To The Scg Museum Collection By Marylebone Cricket Club, Lords Cricket Ground). (1882)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The Ashes at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Of all its diverse activities, Test cricket remains the premier event on the SCG calendar - and an Ashes Test is the most anticipated of all. The SCG has hosted Test matches between Australia and England since the dawn of the Ashes legend in 1882. The SCG Museum Timeline of the Ashes at the SCG relives our great Ashes moments and demonstrates how the history of the SCG is inextricably linked to cricket’s most sought-after trophy.

Lord Sheffield’s Anglo-Australian Cricket Team V Combined Australian Team (1891/1892)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

A Timeline of The Ashes

The storied history of The Ashes from 1882-2018.

Australian vs England, (Third Test), Association Cricket Ground (1882) by Dixon Library, State Library Of NswSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1882


February 17, the Association Cricket Ground hosted its first Test match. Australia bested England by five wickets.

The Heroes Of Australia (1880) by UnknownSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1882

Australia toured England and played one Test at Kennington Oval, London. Australia won by 7 runs and caused an uproar, having beaten their hosts on English soil for the first time.

This photograph documents Australian cricketing greats, Billy Murdoch, Fred Spofforth, Harry Boyle and Alick Bannerman.

Telegram (1882)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1882

A telegram sent to Sydney relaying Australia’s Test win at The Oval on August 29, 1882.

Obituary Penned By Reginald Shirley Watkinshaw Brooks, Published In The Sporting Times, (1882) by Reginald Shirley Brooks, English JournalistSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1882

Commiserations for the English team were published in newspapers as mock memoria and obituaries to the death of English cricket.

Fred "The Demon" Spofforth (1900) by UnknownSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1882-1883

Sydney enters the Ashes story; Australia met England in Sydney for the third Test against the Hon. Ivo Bligh's England team, which had pledged to bring the 'ashes' of English cricket home. On a rain affected wicket Fred Spofforth took 11 for 117 and Alick Bannerman made 94 for Australia. However, England won the Test by 69 runs. Bligh's team had won the series 2-1 and avenged England's defeat at the Oval.

Replica Ashes Urn, (Gifted To The Scg Museum Collection By Marylebone Cricket Club, Lords Cricket Ground). (1882)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1882-1883

During the Australian tour Bligh was given, by lady admirers, a perfume bottle in the shape of an urn and an embroidered velvet bag to house his 'ashes' urn.

These items form The Ashes that are contested by England and Australia in Test cricket.

Sydney Cricket Ground Trust Minutes (1884/1885) by Minutes Of The Sydney Cricket and Sports Grounds's Approval To Use The Scg During The 1884-85 Tests.Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1884-1885

The first Test series of five matches, England won 3-2.

Scorecard From The Opening Day (1886/1887) by Courtesy: Cricket NswSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1886-1887

Regarded as one of the strongest Test teams to leave England, Alfred Shaw's XI faced a gallant Australian bowling attack in the two-Test series held at the ACG.

On the opening day of the second Test, C.T.B. Turner took 5-41 and J.J. Ferris 5-71 to dismiss England for 151. However, the English prevailed 2-0.

The Cricket Ground, Sydney (1886) by UnknownSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1887-1888

C.T.B. Turner bowled magnificently with match figures of 12-87, only to see the Australian batting order collapse.

Australia lost by 126 runs. Turner’s match figures remain the best for Test bowling at the SCG.

The Sydney Test Taken From The Hill, (1891/1892) by Charles Bayliss, Source: National Library Of Australia (Vn4278584)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1891-1892

 Under the captaincy of Jack Blackham, Australia won an Ashes series for the first time in Australia.

All England Cricketers (1894/1895) by Osborne Brothers, SydneySydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1894-1895

No Ashes Test has had a bigger reversal of fortunes than the one played at the SCG in December 1894. Having made England follow on, Australia was 2 for 113 at stumps on day five, needing just 64 to win.

But it rained that night, and on a gluepot the next day Australia lost eight wickets for 53. England’s spinner Bobby Peel took six wickets.

Australia vs England, (Fourth Test Match) (1895) by UnknownSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1895

Fourth Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, February 1895. Australia won by an innings and 55 runs.

Scenes From The First Test Depicted In The Sydney Mail (1897/1898) by Source: The Sydney MailSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1897-1898

Making his first Test appearance in Australia, K.S. Ranjitsinhji scored 175 and Archie MacLaren 109, in England’s nine-wicket win at the SCG.

Despite the loss, Australian left-handers Joe Darling (101) and Clem Hill (96) impressed with the bat.

Cricket Bat - Australian Xi Signed Autograph Bat, (1902) by J. Wisden & Co. LondonSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1901-1902

The England cricket team won the first Test at the SCG but lost the series 4-1 to Australia who retained the Ashes.

Signed Cricket Bat By The Australian And English Teams, J. Wisden & Co. London, 1903/1904, From the collection of: Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds
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Signed Cricket Bat By The Australian And English Teams, J. Wisden & Co. London, 1903/1904, From the collection of: Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds
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SCG Scoreboard Featuring Foster's 287. This Remained The Highest Scg Test Score Until Michael Clark's 329no V India In 2012. (1903/1904)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1903-1904

In the
first Test at the SCG, England’s Reginald “Tip” Foster debuted with 287.
Australian Victor Trumper countered with 185no in the second innings, but
could not prevent England’s five-wicket victory as Wilfred Rhodes contributed
40no to England's score, in a last-wicket partnership of 130 with Foster, and
then produced figures of 5-94 off 40.2 overs.

Tip Foster's score of 287 runs.

The England Cricket Team (1907/1908) by Town And Country Journal' ( Sydney ) , November 20, 1907Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1907-1908

Plagued by illness and overcome by superior batting, England lost the Ashes 4-1.

The Sheridan Pavilion (1912)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1911-1912

Australia's Dr. Herbert Vivian "Ranji" Hordern, in a stellar performance, took 32 wickets in this Test series.

With match figures of 12 for 135 in the first Test, Ranji assisted Australia in claiming their only win of the series. England won
4-1.

Photograph Of Albert 'tibby' Cotter (1910) by Bollands - Hanwell And SouthallSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1914-1919

International cricket ceased due to World War One.

First-class cricket continued at the SCG in 1914-15, but took a hiatus from 1915-16 to 1917-18.

The Victorious XI (1920/1921)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1920-1921

Charlie Macartney scored 170 against England, an innings rated one of the finest in Ashes history. Wrist spinner Arthur Mailey took seven wickets in Australia’s nine wicket haul, giving him an unprecedented 36 wickets. Australia achieved the first 5-0 Ashes series whitewash.

The Australian Team (1920/1921)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Photograph - 'the Famous Catch', 5th Test(Ashes), Sydney Cricket Ground (1924/1925)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1924-1925

In the fifth Test at the SCG, Bert Oldfield caught England’s legendary batsman Jack Hobbs (off Sid Gregory) wide on the leg-side for a second ball duck, one of the most famous of all wicketkeeper dismissals.

Don Blackie (1928/1929)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1928-1929

Talented debutante Don Bradman failed to impress selectors in the first Test and was dropped to 12th man at the SCG. Yet, standing in for injured Archie Jackson, he chased the leather for two days as England's Walter Hammond compiled 251.

Meanwhile spinner Don Blackie became the oldest Australian to make a Test debut at 46 years, 253 days old.

Detail Of The Fifth Test At The Scg, England's Fast Bowler Harold Larwood Distinguished Himself As A Batsman Of Repute, With His Test High Score Of 98no. Sunday Sun And Guardian, 26 February 1933. (1932/1933)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1932-1933

Stan McCabe conquered England’s bodyline bowlers with an innings of 187no, arguably the greatest Test innings played at the SCG. McCabe’s century was scored in 242 minutes from 233 balls and hit 25 fours - 15 coming from hooks or pulls. Harold Larwood (10-124 in the match) and Bill Voce (6-164) eventually spearheaded a 10-wicket England victory.

Photographic Postcard - Don Bradman (1936/1937)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1936-1937

Intense speculation about leadership plagued newly crowned captain and selector Don Bradman, as the Australians finished the second Test at the SCG with consecutive defeats.

Yet Bradman, a determined strategist, turned the tables making a classic innings of 212 in the fourth Test and strategically manoeuvering his tailend spinners around a sticky wicket to secure victory in the fifth. The Australians became the first team to win an Ashes series from two down.

Occupation By Austrlaian Military Forces (1941) by Australian Military Forces - Eastern CommandSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1939-1945

International cricket ceased due to World War Two.

In this period the SCG was used for military purposes, as well as some domestic sporting competitions.

Scorecard , First Innings, Second Test (1946/1947) by Courtesy: Cricket NswSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1946-1947

In December 1946, 38-year old Don Bradman and the opener Sid Barnes each scored 234 against England, and between them added 405.

Their partnership is still a Test record for the fifth wicket and a Test record for any wicket at the SCG.

Jack Iverson Demonstrates His Finger Flicker Technique (1950/1951)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1950-1951

Having discovered how to spin a ball by flicking it with his middle finger as a soldier in World War Two, Jack Iverson did not take up cricket seriously until he was in his 30s.

He made the Test side at 35 and in 1950-51 mesmerised England’s batsmen. At the SCG he took 6 for 27.

Frank Tyson Being Walked Off The Crease After Being Knocked Unconcious By A Ray Lindwell Bumper. (1954/1955)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1954-1955

After being knocked unconscious by a Ray Lindwall bumper at the SCG, England’s Frank "Typhoon" Tyson returned to punish the Australians with a second innings haul of 6 for 85. England won the match and the series 3-1.

Bat Autographed By The Australian And English Teams, Gunn & Moore Ltd/Makers/Nottingham/England', 1958/1959, From the collection of: Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds
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Bat Autographed By The Australian And English Teams, Gunn & Moore Ltd/Makers/Nottingham/England', 1958/1959, From the collection of: Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds
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1958-1959

Peter May's England team lost the series to Australia 4-0.

With Australia captained by Richie Benaud, the result represented the biggest margin of victory against England since the 5-0 whitewash inflicted by Warwick Armstrong's Australian team in 1920–21.

Official Souvenir Program - M.C.C.Tour Of Australia (1962/1963)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1962-1963

Ranked as one of the slowest scoring Test series, Australia drew with England with 1-1 from five matches.

Rothmans Test Cricket Almanac Booklet (1965/1966)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1965-1966

Best remembered for England's dominance in batting, the third Test at the SCG represented the worst result at home since
1911–12.

Although Australia received a hammering by the English, the Ashes were retained due to a series draw.

The John Snow Incident (1970/1971)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1970-1971

In February 1971, England’s fast bowler John Snow hit Australian tailender Terry Jenner with a bumper. Afterwards an agitated spectator manhandled Snow while he was fielding on the SCG boundary.

When the crowd threw beer cans onto the field, England’s captain Ray Illingworth led his team off the field. The walk-off lasted just 10 minutes. Illingworth's team defied the Sydney crowds and won the series 2-0.

Ian-Chappell-Ashes-Quote-1974-75Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Bradman Stand Opens (1974)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1974-1975

When Greg Chappell caught Geoff Arnold close-in off Ashley Mallett at the SCG, Australia regained the Ashes they had lost in 1970-71.

It was Australia’s first Ashes series win since 1964. At a time when English cricket was strong, the win signalled the highpoint of the Chappell era.

Autograph Sheet - Australia V England (1978/1979)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1978-1979

Australia was poised for a victory in the fourth Test at the SCG, until England's captain Mike Brearley led a bowling assault that overwhelmed the Australian batting order. With Australia all out for 111 in the second innings, England had brought about one of the greatest comebacks in Ashes history.

Sydney Cricket Ground, Attendance Records (1983/1992) by Sydney Cricket And Sports Ground TrustSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1982-1983

Celebrated as the centenary of the Ashes, the SCG Test was declared a draw, but entertained with memorable on-field performances, such as David Hookes' dive (at extra cover) for a skier from David Gower. 

ABC Cricket Book, England Tour Of Australia (1986/1987) by ABC Published By The Australian Broadcasting CommisionSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1986-1987

The fifth Test at the SCG was a dead rubber, but is best remembered as “Taylor’s match”.

Peter Taylor was a relatively unknown off-spinner who gained selection for the fifth Test and wowed crowds by taking 6-78 off 26 overs.

The Test debutant was awarded the man of the match for his efforts.

Sydney Cricket Ground, Fixtures Card (1990/1991) by Sydney Cricket And Sports Ground TrustSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1990-1991

In 1990-91 a notoriously determined and ruthless Allan Border captained the Australian team in an aggressive campaign to retain the Ashes.

They won the five Test series 3-0. During the third Test at the SCG, Border brought up his 3000th Test run against England.

ABC Cricket Book, Australia V England (1994/1995) by ABC Published By The Australian Broadcasting CommisionSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1994-1995

In the third Test at the SCG, Australia was saved from defeat by an unlikely eighth-wicket stand between Warne and May that lasted 77 minutes. The match was a draw and Australia won The Ashes for a third consecutive time.

Scorecard For England's Second Innings In Which Macgill Took 7-50 Of His 12-107 (Match Figures) (1998/1999) by Courtesy: Cricket NswSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

1998-1999

Australian Stuart MacGill captured career-best match figures of 12-107, as Australia defeated England by 98 runs.

Waugh Acknowledges The Crowd That He Brougt To A Standing Ovation As He And Batting Partner Adam Gilchrist Leave The Sydney Cricket Ground (2002/2003) by Photograph by Hamilton LundSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

2002-2003

In his final Ashes Test at the SCG in January 2003, Steve Waugh cover-drove a boundary off the last ball of the day to, raise his score from 98 to 102. Waugh reached 102 off 130 balls with 18 fours; the SCG crowd went wild with excitement when his century came up before the day ended.

Retiring Champions Justin Langer (Left), Glenn Mcgrath And Shane Waugh Are Charied Around The Scg By Team Mates Following The 2007 Test (2006/2007) by Photograph by Hamilton LundSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

2006-2007

Australia's 10-wicket victory in the fifth Test at the SCG gave Australia the first 5-0 Ashes series whitewash in 86 years. Celebrations at the SCG were heightened as the match saw the retirement of legends Justin Langer, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

England Players And Fans Celebrate Their First Ashes Series Victory In Australia Since 1986 (2010/2011) by Photograph by Hamilton LundSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

2010 - 2011

This series was decided 3-1 in England's favour in the fourth Test, yet England approached the fifth and final Test at the SCG with vengeance, out-playing Australia in all areas.

England's Alistair Cook dominated the batting with an innings of 189, to bring his series total to 766 runs at an average of nearly 128.

Around The Grounds (Summer Edition) (2013/2014) by Sydney Cricket and Sports GroundsSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

2013 - 2014

Entering into the Sydney Test was an English team who had already tasted defeat in the first four matches of the series. Virtually swept away by Mitchell Johnson’s astonishing pace, England fell on Day 3 by 281 runs.

Australia celebrates a 4 - 0 claiming the urn and the Ashes at the fifth Test hosted at the SCG (2017/2018) by Sydney Cricket and Sports GroundsSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

2017 - 2018

After enduring extreme weather conditions, with Day 4 of the Test declared the hottest day in Australian Test history, Australia thrashed it out besting England by an innings and 123 runs in the final Test at the SCG. Australia shown here celebrate a 4-0 victory over the English.

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