THE OFFICIAL MCC STORY OF THE ASHES
BY BERNARD W HIM PRESS, HARDIE GRANT,¢.
This a delightful and vivid history of the nation’s oldest sporting rivalry, going back far enough to remind that the Ashes predates the founding of the Commonwealth. Australia’s cricketers did much to foster a sense of identity right at the time that the contest with England was beginning, and even through periods of competitive imbalance, the Ashes has retained its allure.
The highlight of this book is the resources of the MCC Museum, with pages full of historic photographs, scorecards, memorabilia – even minutes of the MCC, which noted the return of the Ashes from the Darnley family in 1927. The famed urn has its own mysterious origins – we all know the 1882 obit about the death of English cricket, but the actual prize started as an in-joke with English captain Ivo Bligh. As the book notes, the urn was never meant to be a trophy – and now more than a century later, it’s a prize with plenty of meaning.