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.


First Test

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

Second Test

19 – 22 January 1883
Flag of England England
294 (183.3 overs)
v Flag of Australia Australia
114 (98.2 overs)
England won by an innings and 27 runs
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Umpires: EH Elliott and JS Swift
WW Read 75
GE Palmer 5/103 [66.3]
HH Massie 43
W Bates 7/28 [26.2]
153 (f/o) (69 overs)
GJ Bonnor 34
W Bates 7/74 [33]
  • 21 January taken as rest day

Third Test

26 – 30 January 1883
Flag of England England
247 (143 overs)
v Flag of Australia Australia
218 (179.1 overs)
England won by 69 runs
Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Umpires: EH Elliott and JS Swift
WW Read 66
FR Spofforth 4/73 [51]
AC Bannerman 94
W Bates 7/28 [26.2]
123 (80.1 overs) 83 (69.2 overs)
CT Studd 25
FR Spofforth 7/44 [41.1]
JM Blackham 26
RG Barlow 7/40 [34.2]
  • 28 January taken as rest day

"Extra" Test

17 – 21 February 1883
Flag of England England
263 (155 overs)
v Flag of Australia Australia
262 (146 overs)
Australia won by 4 wickets
Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Umpires: EH Elliott and JS Swift
AG Steel 135
HF Boyle 3/52 [40]
GJ Bonnor 87
AG Steel 3/34 [18]
197 (126.3 overs) 199/6 (163.1 overs)
W Bates 48*
TP Horan 2/15 [9]
AC Bannerman 63
AG Steel 3/49 [43]
  • 18 February taken as 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 the "Demon Bowler" himself, the man who primarily embodied the Ashes ideal, Fred Spofforth.


The team used Colombo as a stopover during its long sea voyage and played against local sides that were not first-class. This was the first time that an English cricket team had visited Ceylon.

External sources

Further reading

  • The Wisden Book of Test Cricket 1877–1978 by Bill Frindall
  • Chris Harte, A History of Australian Cricket, Andre Deutsch, 1993
List of Ashes series
Non-Ashes Australia v England Test series

International cricket tours of Sri Lanka vte
Australia 1982–83199219992003–0420112016
Bangladesh 20022005–0620072012–132016–172019
England 1981–821992–932000–012003–042007–082011–122014–152018–192019–20
India 1985199319972001200620082008–092010201220152017
New Zealand 1983–841984–851986–871992–931998200320092012–132013–142019
Pakistan 1985–8619941996–9720002005–062009201220142015
South Africa 1993200020042006201320142018
West Indies 1993–942001–0220052010–112015-16
Zimbabwe 1983–841996–971997–982001–022017

International cricket tours of Australia vte
Afghanistan 2020–21
Bangladesh 20032008
England 1861–621863–641873–741876–771878–791881–821882–831884–851886–871887–881891–921894–951897–981901–021903–041907–081911–121920–211924–251928–291932–331936–371946–471950–511954–551958–591962–631965–661970–711974–751976–771978–791979–801982–831986–871987–881990–911994–951998–992002–032006–072010–112013–142017-182021–222022–23
India 1947–481967–681977–781980–811985–861991–921999–20002003–042007–082011–122014–152015–162018–192020–21
New Zealand 1973–741980–811982–831985–861987–881989–901990–911993–941997–982001–022004–052008–092011–122015–162016–172019–202020–21
Pakistan 1964–651972–731976–771978–791981–821983–841988–891989–901991–921992–931995–961996–971999–200020022004–052009–102016–172019–20
South Africa 1910–111931–321952–531963–641993–94 • *1997–982001–022005–062008–092012–132014–152016–172018–192021–222022–23
Sri Lanka 1982–831984–851987–881989–901995–961998–992002–0320042005–062007–082010–112012–132016–172018–192019–20
West Indies 1930–311951–521960–611968–691975–761979–801981–821984–851986–871988–891991–921992–931995–961996–972000–012004–052005–062009–102012–132015–162020–212022–23
Zimbabwe 1994–952000–012003–042021–22
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.