English cricket team in Australia in 1882–83

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The Revered Ashes described in newspapers from 1883

The England national cricket team toured Australia and Ceylon in 1882–83.

The team, captained by Ivo Bligh, was on a quest "to recover those Ashes", a reference to the famous RIP notice that was published in the aftermath of England's defeat by Australia at The Oval during the previous English season.

Originally, three Tests were arranged and England won two of these after losing the first. Although the actual sequence of events has never been completely confirmed, it was after England won the third Test that Ivo Bligh was somehow presented with a small urn which is believed to contain the ashes of a burnt bail. He brought this back to England and it is now the most famous exhibit in the museum at Lord's Cricket Ground. England and Australia have been contesting these mythical Ashes ever since.

The "fourth Test" of this tour was arranged ad hoc after the original series had been completed. Four separate wickets were used in the Test match, one for each innings.[1]

Tour matches[edit]

Two/Three-day matches[edit]

First-class Matches[edit]

Test matches[edit]

First Test[edit]

30 December 1882 – 2 January 1883
291 (169 overs)
GJ Bonnor 85
CFH Leslie 3/31 (11 overs)
177 (107.2 overs)
EFS Tylecote 33
GE Palmer 7/65 (52.2 overs)
58/1 (53.1 overs)
WL Murdoch 33*
W Barnes 1/6 (13 overs)
169 (f/o) (99.1 overs)
EFS Tylecote 38
G Giffen 4/38 (20 overs)
Australia won by 9 wickets
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Umpires: EH Elliott (Aus) and JS Swift (Aus)

Second Test[edit]

19–22 January 1883
294 (183.3 overs)
WW Read 75
GE Palmer 5/103 (66.3 overs)
114 (98.2 overs)
HH Massie 43
W Bates 7/28 (26.2 overs)
153 (f/o) (69 overs)
GJ Bonnor 34
W Bates 7/74 (33 overs)
England won by an innings and 27 runs
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Umpires: EH Elliott (Aus) and JS Swift (Aus)
  • England won the toss and elected to bat.
  • 21 January was taken as a rest day.
  • This was the first Test match to be won by an innings margin.
  • W Bates became the first England player to take a Test hat-trick with the first-innings wickets of PS McDonnell, G Giffen and GJ Bonnor. He was also the first player in Test history to score a 50 and take 10 wickets in a match.

Third Test[edit]

26–30 January 1883
247 (143 overs)
WW Read 66
FR Spofforth 4/73 (51 overs)
218 (179.1 overs)
AC Bannerman 94
W Bates 7/28 (26.2 overs)
123 (80.1 overs)
CT Studd 25
FR Spofforth 7/44 (41.1 overs)
83 (69.2 overs)
JM Blackham 26
RG Barlow 7/40 (34.2 overs)
England won by 69 runs
Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Umpires: EH Elliott (Aus) and JS Swift (Aus)
  • England won the toss and elected to bat.
  • 28 January was taken as a rest day.
  • This match saw the creation of the Ashes urn; with England having won the series, some Australian ladies burnt a bail and put the ashes in an urn, which remains in the Memorial Gallery at Lord's.

4th Test[edit]

17–21 February 1883
263 (155 overs)
AG Steel 135
HF Boyle 3/52 (40 overs)
262 (146 overs)
GJ Bonnor 87
AG Steel 3/34 (18 overs)
197 (126.3 overs)
W Bates 48*
TP Horan 2/15 (9 overs)
199/6 (163.1 overs)
AC Bannerman 63
AG Steel 3/49 (43 overs)
Australia won by 4 wickets
Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Umpires: EH Elliott (Aus) and JS Swift (Aus)
  • England won the toss and elected to bat.
  • 18 February was taken as a rest day.


England was captained by Ivo Bligh and had Edward Tylecote as its specialist wicket-keeper, the other players being Billy Bates, Dick Barlow, Allan Steel, Charles Leslie, Walter Read, Charles Studd, Fred Morley, Billy Barnes, George Vernon and George Studd.

Australia was captained by Billy Murdoch and had Jack Blackham as wicket-keeper. Other players to represent Australia were Billy Midwinter, Alec Bannerman, George Bonnor, Tom Horan, Percy McDonnell, George Giffen, Harry Boyle, Edwin Evans, Hugh Massie, Eugene Palmer, Tom Garrett and Fred Spofforth.


The team used Colombo as a stopover during its long sea voyage and played two matches against local sides in October 1882 that were not first-class. This was the first time that an overseas team visited Ceylon.


  1. ^ "South Africa's Superman". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

External sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • The Wisden Book of Test Cricket 1877–1978 by Bill Frindall
  • Chris Harte, A History of Australian Cricket, Andre Deutsch, 1993