Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust – if Lille don’t get you, Thommo mustFor cricket lovers across generations, these words are immortal. This was a war cry for hundreds of thousands of Australian cricket fans, baying for English blood on the cricket field. These words resonated loud enough for England to hear and tremble with fear. Cricket rivalry has never been fiercer than the one that exists between these two proud nations.This rivalry, the Ashes, was born 135 years ago on August 29, 1882. “Demon” Fred Spofforth and Harry Boyle bowled Australia to their first Test victory over England at The Oval in nine matches. Chasing 84 for victory, England were blown away for a mere 77.The Sporting Times, lamenting the humiliating defeat, published the following lines.In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintancesR.I.P.N.B.-The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.135 years ago today, Australia beat England at The Oval and The Ashes were born!What is your favourite moment from an Ashes Test? pic.twitter.com/l6J0IQ9d1q- ICC (@ICC) August 29, 2017The Ashes themselves took shape in due time. Following England’s victory in a Test in Australia the following year, a cricket bail was burned in memory of the Ashes and put in an 11-inch terracota urn. A few Melbourne ladies then proceeded to give the urn to Ivo Bligh, the legendary England captain.advertisementThere has been some controversy surrounding the urn in the decades that followed. Australia, on account of their domination, demanded the urn be given to them but the MCC has continued to refuse. England claim it is their property and the teams really only play for a replica.But that has not stopped generations of players from ethcing out some of the greatest performances in the history of cricket. Donald Bradman is by far the leading run-scorer in the Ashes with 5028 runs in 37 matches at an average of 89.78.Jack Hobbs, the venerable English batsman is second in the list with 3636 runs in 41 Tests.Australian batsmen once again dominated in the 1980s and 1990s with Allan Border accumulating 3222 runs and Steve Waugh rattling up 3173.Not surprisingly, another Australian legend, Shane Warne is right on top of the list for highest wicket-takers with 195 scalps. Compatriot Glenn McGrath is next with 157 wickets.England had won the last Ashes in 2015 and the teams will soon vie for glory again later this year Down Under in Australia.