Melbourne [Australia], Mar 17 (ANI): The Ashes urn, smallest but most keenly contested trophy, will make a rare journey to Australia in 12 years where it will go on display in Victoria's State Library's 'Velvet, Iron, Ashes' exhibition from December 2019 until February 2020.
England will host the five-match series from August 1 to September 16, where Australia will look to win their first away series on English soil since Steve Waugh's side triumphed in 2001.
The urn, which is the symbol of cricketing battles between Australia and England since it was gifted to the visiting English captain Ivo Bligh during the summer of 1882-83, has resided at the MCC Museum at The Lord's in London regardless of the Test series result.
At the end of every Test series, a replica is presented to the winning side.
This will be the only third time the urn has travelled to Australia since it came into the MCC's possession in 1929. The urn was exhibited for less than a week during the country's 1988 Bicentennial celebrations and visited six cities in three months during the 2006-07 Ashes series, Cricket Australia reported.
England and Australia played the first Test match at Melbourne in 1877. The Ashes came into being following England's first home defeat at The Oval in London in 1882. On England's tour of Australia in 1882-83, a small terracotta urn said to contain the Ashes of a burnt bail was presented to visiting captain Ivo Bligh.
After the death of Bligh, the urn was bequeathed to the MCC and has remained there as a symbol of Anglo-Australian cricket supremacy. Since the 1998-99 series, the winning Ashes captain has been handed a Waterford Crystal replica commissioned by the MCC.
"We are delighted to loan the Ashes Urn, a symbolic and special treasure, to State Library Victoria," said MCC chief executive and secretary Guy Lavender in a statement."The story of the Ashes Urn is one that captivates so many people around the world and the State Library Victoria's exhibition is a very fitting place for its story to be told."State Library Victoria chief executive Kate Torney added: "We are thrilled to have the chance to bring to life the wonderful stories surrounding the Ashes tradition, which of course, began here in Melbourne." (ANI)