The England and Australia Women’s teams have been facing each other on the cricket field since 1934. But they had to wait until 1998 to start their own Women’s Ashes — a bilateral series similar to the Men’s Ashes.
Besides, there is an interesting story behind the beginning of the Women’s Ashes. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and I will take you through the history of the Women’s Ashes.
What is the History of the Women’s Ashes?
The Men’s Ashes started way back in 1882. And it took a mock obituary to start the fiercest rivalry in cricket.
After 116 years, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Australian Cricket Board (now Cricket Australia) started the Women’s Ashes in 1998.
However, the two teams first played a Test against each other in December 1934, which was also the first women’s Test match ever played.
From 1934 to July 1998, both sides played a total of 34 matches over 11 Test series. Of the 11 series, Australia won 4, England won 2, and 5 series resulted in draws. And this also included a 5-match Test series, something you will not see nowadays.
Surprisingly, both teams played 11 series over a period of 64 years without a trophy! It sounds strange, but it’s true. And by the 1990s, there was a clear uproar for a trophy to be presented to the winners of the Women’s Ashes.
Creation of Women’s Ashes Trophy
In July 1998, Norma Izard, then President of the Women’s Cricket Association (WCA), decided to create the Women’s Ashes trophy. The WCA was the governing body for women’s cricket in England for 72 years. The association merged with the newly formed ECB in the same year.
At the same time, the Australian women’s team was in England to play 5 ODIs and 3 Tests. And that was also the last series hosted by the WCA.
Thus, Izard thought the time was right to start the Women’s Ashes. She was also the brainchild behind the concept and design of the trophy.
Izard then appointed a woodcarver — Brian Hodges — to create a trophy out of a 300-year-old yew tree’s wood. The result was a hollow cricket ball that contained the actual ashes within it.
Later on July 20, Izard organised a ceremony at the Harris Garden inside Lord’s to create the ashes. For the ceremony, she got the signatures of both teams on a miniature bat, a copy of the WCA constitution, and the rule book.
All these things were burned, and their ashes were sealed inside the hollow cricket ball. And that’s how the trophy was created.
Australia’s tour of England, which coincided with the trophy ceremony, marked the beginning of the official Women’s Ashes.
The Evolution of Women’s Ashes
Now, both the yew tree trophy and the series have gone through some changes since 1998.
Until 2011, the Women’s Ashes were solely contested over a Test series. But in 2013, they introduced a multi-format points system consisting of Test and limited-overs matches. The team with the most points wins the trophy.
Now, if you are wondering about how the points system works, then head over to the link below to find your answer.
Moreover, the wooden hollow ball trophy was placed inside a frame to give it a facelift. And as you can see, the trophy looks good!
Finally, let’s see which team won the Women’s Ashes the most.
Women’s Ashes Winner List
England and Australia have played 25 series since 1934, with Australia recording victories in 10, England shining in 6, and 9 series resulting in draws.
|1934/35||England Women in Australia||England|
|1937||Australia Women in England||Drawn|
|1948/49||England Women in Australia||Australia|
|1951||Australia Women in England||Drawn|
|1957/58||England Women in Australia||Drawn|
|1963||Australia Women in England||England|
|1968/69||England Women in Australia||Drawn|
|1976||Australia Women in England||Drawn|
|1984/85||England Women in Australia||Australia|
|1987||Australia Women in England||Australia|
|1991/92||England Women in Australia||Australia|
|1998||Australia Women in England||Drawn|
|2001||Australia Women in England||Australia|
|2002/03||England Women in Australia||Australia|
|2005||Australia Women in England||England|
|2007/08||England Women in Australia||England|
|2009||Australia Women in England||Drawn|
|2010/11||England Women in Australia||Australia|
|2013||Australia Women in England||England|
|2013/14||England Women in Australia||England|
|2015||Australia Women in England||Australia|
|2017/18||England Women in Australia||Drawn|
|2019||Australia Women in England||Australia|
|2021/22||England Women in Australia||Australia|
|2023||Australia Women in England||Drawn|
Lastly, tell me your fond memories of Women’s Ashes in the comments below.
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