Cricket fans can rejoice, as this summer is an Ashes summer!

The Australian’s are in town ready to try and retain the Ashes for the fourth series in a row.

Standing in their way are a determined England team, led by Ben Stokes, who will be determined to put on a much better show than they did in the last series, when they lost 4-0 in Australia.

Bet35 Sport can’t call this series as they have both teams at almost the same odds, with England the slight 5/4 favourite over the Aussies who are 7/5.

Or, you can take the 5/1 on a drawn series, which would be the 11th such time the Ashes series has been drawn (as it was the last time the two met in England in 2019).

Australia lead the series 34-32, so England will be keen to claw back one of the two series they are behind in front of their home fans.

We are certain there will be plenty of exciting action to enjoy across the five tests, but for now and to whet your appetite, here are ten of the best Ashes moments in history.

And to not offend our cousins from Down Under, these are listed in no particular order and I’ve tried to get a balance for fans of both teams!

Top Ten Ashes Moments

  • Don Bradman Bats England Into Oblivion – 1930

Don Bradman’s performance in the 1930 Ashes series is the greatest ever Ashes performance by a batsman.

Australia won the series 2-1 and all after they lost the first test, despite Bradman scoring 131 in the second innings.

However a stunning 254 by Bradman in the first innings of the second test saw Australia declare on a huge 729/6 and England could only respond with 425 and 375, allowing Australia to land the 73 runs they needed in the second innings to level the series.

The third test saw Bradman at his peak, scoring 334 runs for Australia, an Ashes record that still stands, in a game that was ultimately drawn.

A weather-ruined fourth test finished in a draw, but Bradman piled on the agony in the fifth and final test, scoring 232 as part of Australia’s 695 run, which England could not match in two innings, handing the Aussies the win.

Bradman’s 974 runs in that series still stands as the greatest batting performance in Ashes history.

  • Australia’s First Ever Win In England Creates “The Ashes” Legend – 1883

Ever wondered how The Ashes came to be called the Ashes? Well, it is all down to Australia defeating England, in England, back in 1883.

Back then England were thought to be untouchable at home, but Australia came to England that year and defied the odds to beat the English on home soil.

The defeat caused such a shock that many refused to believe it had happened and led to one reporter in The Sporting Times to mock up an obituary which referenced the ‘death of English cricket’.

Within that mock up was the phrase that the body would be cremated and “the ashes taken to Australia”.

While “The Ashes’ were referred to by the captains in the next series, the phrase wasn’t used at all for around the next 20 years, but was revived in 1903 and has been used as the name for the series ever since.

Incidentally, the tiny actual Ashes Urn is displayed at Lords and is rumoured to contain the burnt ashes of the stumps from that first Australian win in England.

A replica of the trophy is symbolically presented to the winners after each series.

  • Stuart Broad skittles out Australia for 60 with figures of 8-15. – 2015

In one of the greatest bowling displays in modern Ashes history, Chris Broad took 8 wickets for just 15 runs in an incredible first day of the fourth test in 2015.

England led the series 2-1 heading into the game and a win here would see them confirm a win in the series and they got off to a perfect start.

Broad’s bowling was inspirational as he decimated the Australian team, scuttling them out in just 18.3 overs for 60 runs.

That performance set up England for an innings and 78-run win which clinched the series.

  • Botham and Willis lead England to stunning win from jaws of defeat – 1981

Having been stripped of the captaincy, Ian Botham could not have been at a lower ebb as he headed into the third test of the Ashes series with England trailing 1-0.

Another Australian win here would ensure that England could not win the series and leave the Australians on the brink of another Ashes series win.

After a pair of ducks at Lords but now relieved of the captaincy, Botham took 6 for 95 in Australia’s first innings, with the Aussies still declaring having scored 401.

Botham scored 50 for England in response, but his team mates floundered as they were bowled out for 174 and forced to follow on.

England struggled again to 105-5 before Botham came to the crease, where he put on a masterful display of batting to score 149 not out, giving England an unexpected lead of just 130.

If that was the first part of the miracle of Headingley then the second part was down to pace bowler Bob Willis.

Brearley switched Willis’ end with Australia strolling to 56-1 and seemingly well set to secure the victory.

Legend has it that bookmakers were offering 500/1 on England winning the test from this position.

However, they had reckoned without Willis, who took on the baton from Botham and scorced Australia for 8 wickets for just 43 runs.

The Australian’s were all out for 111, 19 runs short of victory as England completed a stunning turnaround which would lead them to winning the series 3-1.

  • Shane Warne’s ‘ball of the century’ – 1993

The best delivery in test cricket was also Shane Warne’s first ever delivery in Ashes test cricket.

The young off-spinner was a prodigious talent and many were excited to see how he fared on his Ashes debut.

But nobody was expecting what transpired.

Warne was facing the hugely experienced England batsman Mike Gatting and as he came in on his short run up, he lofted the ball out of the back of his hand, the ball wobbled in mid-air and then moved right, seemingly massively wide of the off-stump.

Gatting no doubt looked at the trajectory of the ball and felt it was a simple one to block away.

However, the ball spun massively, edging past Gatting’s defensive prod with the bat and catching the leg stump.

Gatting’s bemusement at how the ball had beaten him can be seen in the video as he walks away.

But there’s no shame in being beaten by the best ball ever bowled in cricket history.

  • Botham takes five Australia wickets for one run to win Test for England – 1981

The 1981 Ashes series had plenty of drama on and off the field. After 12 tests without a win, and suffering from a drop in form, Ian Botham was stripped of the captaincy after England trailed 1-0 after two Ashes tests. Mike Brearley being reinstated as captain.

After the legendary third test comeback win, described above, the fourth test would be just as pivotal as Australia needed to chase down just 151 in their final innings to go ahead 2-1 in the series.

The Aussies reached 105 for 4 before Botham struck, claiming five of the remaining Australian wickets, including a spell of bowling which saw him take five wickets for just one run.

Botham and company skittled out the Australians for 121, giving England another unlikely win by 29 runs and putting them 2-1 up in the series.

  • Ricky Ponting saves Australia with a captain’s knock of 156 – 2005

In the dramatic 2005 series, England had claimed a dramatic 2-run win in the second test to level the series as the teams moved on to Old Trafford for the Third Test, it was the hosts that seemed to be in the ascendancy.

Chasing 399 to win, Australia started their second innings somewhat slowly with opener Justin Langer dismissed early on, which brought the skipper Ricky Ponting to the crease.

Over 274 balls and 411 minutes, Ponting remained resolute as the foundation of the Australian fightback.

While other batsmen fell regularly, Ponting remained defiant and the more England tried to find a way to oust the Aussie skipper, the more he dug in and defied the attack.

With no hope of chasing down the 399, the Australian’s were in the unusual position of trying to secure an unlikely draw, but Ponting’s meticulous 156 secured them that.

Though his dismissal with four overs left still saw plenty of drama as Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath held onto Australia’s final wicket to guide the visitors to a draw that must have felt like a win.

  • Shane Warne’s hat-trick v England in 1994

There have been just 46 Test Match hat-tricks in the history of Test Cricket but the 21st by Shane Warne against England in October 1994 is right up there with the best Ashes moments.

Chasing an unlikely 388 to win, Craig Fleming and Craig McDermott had decimated England’s top order batsmen, leaving England toiling at 7-91.

If England fans felt it could not get much worse, they were wrong as up stepped Shane Warne to bowl the next over.

First, Phil DeFreitas was caught out LBW by a spin ball that ran straight, fooling the English batsmen.

In came Darren Gough, who was then dismissed with the very next ball as he edged a catch to Ian Healy.

Devon Malcolm came in next and with Warne on a hat-trick he tried to defend a tricky leg spinner, but could only prod the ball to David Boon at silly mid-off who made an acrobatic catch to claim Warne’s first (and only) test match hat-trick.

  • Ben Stokes miracle innings snatches unlikely win for England – 2019

England’s chances of saving the Ashes series in 2019 looked slim. Requiring 359 to win in the Third Test, Australia’s bowlers had claimed nine England wickets, with only Ben Stokes putting up some resistance on 61, as the final English batsman Jack Leach came to the crease.

By then, England were 286 for 9 and it seemed a formality that the Australian’s would claim the single wicket they needed to land the win and go 2-0 up in the series and with it, retain the Ashes with just two more tests left to play.

However, Ben Stokes put on another incredible performance with the bat, with Jack Leach adding a single run, to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in one of the finest individual performances in Ashes history.

There was plenty of drama too, a bad choice of a review costing Australia when had they kept their review, they would have had Stokes out, Nathan Lyon missed a simple stumping as the game got close and the Aussies also missed a couple of difficult catches.

England went on to win the test and drew the series, but Australia ultimately retained the Ashes.

  • Freddie Flintoff inspires England to dramatic 2-run victory – 2005.

In what had already been a pulsating Test Match in what would arguably be the best Ashes Test Match series of all time, England had been dismissed in their second innings and had left Australia chasing a seemingly modest total of 282.

However led by Freddie Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison, England’s bowlers tore into Australia’s batting attack, leaving the Australians teetering on the brink of a seemingly inevitable defeat at 175 for 8 and then 220 for 9 at the start of the final’s day play.

Led by Shane Warne and Brett Lee, Australia’s tail produced an outstanding display of batting to bring the Australian’s back into the game and England’s chance to win the test match was seemingly slipping away as Australia reached 279, requiring just three runs to win the test.

However, Steve Harmison’s bouncer clipped Michael Kasprowicz glove, allowing Gethin Jones to dive and land a stunning catch to hand England the narrowest of 2-run victories.

The win levelled the series 1-1 after two tests, and would provide the foundation for England to go on and clinch a dramatic series win over the best test team in world cricket.  

The Ashes 2023 gets underway on the 16th June with the First Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham, so tune in and enjoy this fantastic sporting occasion.