We all know how competitive Australia is when they play their cricket. They play their most competitive cricket against their arch-rivals England in a riveting series known as “The Ashes”. But in recent years, a fierce cricketing rivalry has also developed between Australia and India. It was after the latter decided to not play any bilateral series with Pakistan. Now, the question that arises is – Is Border Gavaskar Trophy more important to Australia than the Ashes or vice-versa?
In this blog, we will provide readers with certain pointers from both the Border Gavaskar Trophy and The Ashes. The readers can go through the pointers and form their own opinion.
Before mentioning the pointers that make The Ashes one of the best sporting events, let us find out about its origins. Let’s find out.
The History of “The Ashes”
The Ashes story dates back to the year 1882. It was when England was defeated by Australia in their backyard for the very first time. Cricket was invented by the English and this defeat did not sit well with its fans. A satire story was published by The Sporting Times newspaper about the “Death of English Cricket”. The satirical obituary also had the famous line “the body will be cremated and ashes taken to Australia”.
England captain Ivo Bligh responded to this satirical obituary by vowing to “regain the ashes” from the Aussies. This incident again made the headlines of the newspapers and they dubbed it the “quest to regain the ashes”. Australia was defeated by England 2-1 and Ivo Bligh was presented with an “urn” which contained the ashes of bails. It was presented by a group of ladies from Melbourne. Since then, these two cricketing nations have locked horns on numerous occasions in a series named “The Ashes”.
What Makes The Ashes a Great Sporting Event?
Here are some pointers that make The Ashes one of the greatest sporting events in the world –
- The Ashes is the oldest sporting rivalry in the world
- Failing to retain the Ashes spurs the teams to make amends and come back stronger the next time. It makes the next series even more important
- The crowd attendance at the Ashes matches and the stadium environment makes each match a special occasion
- The Ashes pitches give the bowlers an upper hand and the batters are expected to dodge the conditions
- Many cricketing greats from Australia and England owe their careers to the Ashes and many saw their careers fade as well
- Some of cricket’s greatest moments owe their existence to the Ashes. For example Bradman’s duck due to which a test average of 100 eluded him, Jim Laker’s 10-wicket haul in a test inning and others
Border Gavaskar Trophy
Australia’s desire to breach the Indian fortress in test cricket after 1969-70 gave birth to modern-day’s another exciting rivalry – India vs Australia, otherwise known as the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Australia eventually succeeded in defeating India in India in test matches in 2004-05 after a long gap of 35 years. This fuelled a desire in the Indian team to defeat Australia in Australia. This burning desire gave birth to a test match series that is named after the first 2 players to score 10,000 runs in test cricket – Allan Border and Sunil Gavaskar.
Let us now look at those pointers that make the Border Gavaskar series a big sporting event.
- India and Australia do not share a geographical border or any significant history except for the hunger to beat the other and psychologically torment the rest of the cricketing nations
- Australia has dominated world cricket since its first World Cup title in 1987 and India’s emergence as the powerhouse of cricket has threatened their dominance thus creating this big rivalry
- The competitiveness of the Indian cricket team in Australia has escalated the importance of the Border Gavaskar series as Australia has not been able to replicate India’s success in away tours
The question if The Ashes is more important to Australia than the Border Gavaskar Trophy cannot have a definite answer as the viewers’ nationality will also play a huge part in their decision-making. An Indian would certainly love to think of BGT as the biggest cricketing rivalry while an Englishman would beg to differ in opinion. Whatever the opinion might be, one cannot simply rule out the excitement and thrilling cricket that is played in both the Ashes and the Border Gavaskar Trophy. So, why don’t we leave this decision-making process to others and enjoy the cricket at our disposal?