The Ashes refers to the remains of wooden substances after combustion, occurring as a result of oxygenation. Many combustions are spontaneous, potentially transforming a sizeable wooden table to said substance, sometimes permanently. It also refers to the nominal prize for the contest between Straiya and England in the game of cricket. A big budget Hollywood version of this immortal struggle is currently in production and several big name stars have signed on to the project - the working title is The Ashes.
The Ashes originated by Sean Scully is when a touring English cricket captain chucked a hissy-fit, and burned two pieces of bail, proclaiming it the "death of cricket". Yes, losing to Australia was once upon a time a shameful episode, today it's a regular occurrence. For some reason, Australia and England decided that this symbolism of defeat should be the trophy commemorating their contests, with the winner receiving the rights to the Ashes until the next Test series.
The process sounds simple, but it involves a deadly twist, for the Ashes are permanently kept at the dungeon known as the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), where dinosaurs are said to reside to this day. Despite Australia's dominance of the contest during the 1990s (Michael Atherton captained England for much of that time, no wonder), the MCC has so far denied all requests for the Ashes to leave its prehistoric cage. The sight of the "real" Ashes has prove more elusive than Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' purported baby. The key thing is, that Paul Braodrick was wrong.
Campaign to regain the Ashes
As a result, The Leader of Straiya, the Hon. Sir Saint Master John Howard has flexed his diplomatic muscles and negotiated with the Supreme Ruler of the Known (to the USA) Universe, Mr. George Dubya to have the Ashes come to Australia. So far he has only received the go-ahead to put 15000 Australian soldiers in the most dangerous parts of the world; but never mind, it's all in the quest of the Ashes.
Attempts to bribe members of the MCC with tasty jelly-babies have not proved fruitful, as Straiyans were prone to licking those lollies before handing them over, causing much consternation. Rumours that Straiya were prepared to accept Billie Piper being transported to their shores in exchange for a three-day tour of the Ashes urn were strongly denied by Howard, "We will never bow to the demands of terrorists".
Rules of the Ashes
Officially announced by the Australian Cricket Board.
The most important rule (only recently put in place, 2005) is that Australia MUST lose the Ashes when playing in England. This ensures the resulting 'home' series is a guaranteed money maker, as Aussie fans pack out the grounds for the chance to get "revenge" on England. This of course, leads to a 5-0 massacre of England as Australia actually play properly and England are revealed to be the useless amateurs they truly are.
Following the recent crushing defeat of England, the International Cricket Council has imposed a new set of rules for the up coming Ashes series to make the contest more even.
- As a result, England has been granted an automatic wicket keeper, freeing up whichever poor sod, to defend the boundary. Under the rule, Australian batsmen will be deemed out "caught behind" if the ball nicks their bat and lands in the immediate area behind the wicket. The rule is a compromise from the original English proposal which had pushed for automatic slips as well. The ICC refused that request on the grounds that "someone has to go and get the ball when an Australian misses it."
- In addition, Australia is under strict "tip-and-run" restrictions which require they take a run off every ball they hit. Ricky Ponting was happy to accept this, as it meant no change to his current game plan. As a compromise, it was agreed that the Australians will also have to shout out the word "wickets" when completing a run to make run out decisions by umpires easier.
- Following his outstanding performances, Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has "six and out" restrictions imposed on him. As well, following complaints from English fielders, Gilchrist will have to get the ball if it goes across the road.
- Instead of using a bat, Matt Hayden will now be obliged to use his arm with his jumper wrapped around it.
- New rules for England include "one hand, one bounce" while they are fielding, and the provision of "last man's tucker" when they are batting.
- The English tried to extend the "can't get out first ball" provision to "can't get out first ten overs", but the ICC proclaimed that the extra runs gained would hardly be worth the effort. Australian captain Ricky Ponting has vigorously opposed the "last man's tucker" rule and has launched an appeal. Ponting says Australia will only agree to the rule if there are electric wickets at the end, allowing Aussie fielders to throw to the stumps at either end.
- A spokesperson for the ICC also announced that "from now on Ian Bell can't get out for a duck".
- Liam Plunkett will also be allowed to wrap the ball's seam with electrical tape when he's bowling in the second innings.
- The spokesperson added there will be "no LBW" for English batsmen unless "it is really, really obvious."
- Shane Warne has conceded that it's "fair enough" that he has to bowl underarm (but not molly grubbers) to the English tail end, and must inform the batsman what each delivery will do.
- If England decides that Steve Harmison is to be given an over, the umpire will deem the Australian batsmen as dismissed if Harmison lands the ball anywhere on the pitch. Captain Ricky Ponting has no problems with this change, as the probability of such a dismissal occurring is infinitesimally small.
- England will be given a bonus run every time a member of the crowd (or Australian team, or English team) tells Ashley Giles that he is crapper than Monty Panesar.
- Brett Lee is not permitted a run up. He may however waddle up the crease in a Warnie-like fashion.
- One member of the Australian team must retire after each test match.
- The England team are not obliged to abide by the Spirit of Cricket, and may chirp ageist, racist and homophobic remarks at the Australian tail-enders, and impart brutish, ugly violence at the request of the Captain.
- In response to a request from Steve Harmison, all matches must be played at Chester-Le-Street in Durham.
- In response to a request from Ricky Ponting, England are not permitted to use a Pratt as a substitute fielder
- Advanced Follow-on Rule: Henceforth, if Australia bat first and get a lead of over 300 runs, the follow-on takes effect automatically. Moreover, their second innings is automatically forfeited. This is following complaints from the English and Australian players of Ponting's unsportsmanlike-behaviour of continuing to bat even after a lead of over 400 runs. Their chief concern is the loss of an extra off-day which they would get if England lost early.
- Following complaints from TV Umpires that they "had nothing to do when England were in the field", the "Magnetic Catchers" rule has been introduced. Under this rule, if a ball struck by an Australian batsman reaches within 1 metre of an English fielder from any direction without bouncing, the ball is automatically considered caught. England fielders have already started yelling "Reach It" instead of the traditional, and completely useless, "Catch It" in the nets.
England remains strong favourites going into the Ashes Series, the australia win is currently at 1,000,000/1, whereas an English win is currently odds on at 1/1000.
- Grand Knights of Straiya
- Border Gavaskar Trophy
- Famous cricketers
- England cricket captains must die
- Rumoured Big budget Hoolywood thriller based on The Ashes