Former Australian captain and outstanding batsman Greg Chappell (right) has launched a new exhibition in the National Sports Museum at the MCG which will trace the history of cricket’s cracking rivalry - the Ashes.
Officially opening to the public on Friday November 12, Ashes to Ashes: Cricket’s Cracking Rivalry pays homage to one of cricket’s oldest and most famous rivalries with a unique collection of memorabilia.
In Ashes to Ashes, a single item represents each of the series played between the two teams, right back to the earliest international tour in 1861/62.
The objects are drawn from the Melbourne Cricket Club’s Museum and Library collections, the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum and the National Sports Museum.
The collection includes two very special pieces recently acquired by the MCC – a gold cravat pin engraved by Hon. G. Coppin MLC, and Bruce French's Bicentennial Test cap (1988) - which were revealed for the first time at the launch.
The cravat pin was presented by Coppin in 1862 and has his name engraved on the reverse. Coppin was instrumental in setting up the first international tour, encouraging Spiers & Pond to bring the English cricketers to Australia.
English cricketer Bruce French's Bicentennial Test cap is a rare example of the Test caps awarded to members of both the Australian and English teams who played in the one-off Test match at the SCG in January 1988 to commemorate Australia’s Bicentenary.
Other objects include:
• A gold and diamond brooch containing leather cut from the ball with which Australia first defeated England on English soil at The Oval in 1882. The brooch was made for Australian wicketkeeper Jack Blackham to present to his employer.
• A bat used by Victor Trumper in 1899, and his diary from the 1902 Ashes tour of England.
• A trophy presented to Hugh Trumble in 1902 to commemorate the first of his two magnificent Test hat tricks against England at the MCG.
• Stumps from the infamous Third Test at Adelaide during the 1932/33 Bodyline series, the second Test at Lord's in 1948 and from the Boxing Day Test at the MCG in 1998.
• Iconic baggy green caps belonging to leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett (1926) and fast bowler Alan Connolly (1968).
• English touring cap worn by Bill Voce, who took 17 wickets in the first two Tests in 1936.
• A silver tankard presented by the members of the English team that toured Australia in 1946/47 to their skipper, Walter Hammond.
• Bats used by Paul Sheahan (Aus), Greg Chappell (Aus) Mike Brearley (Eng) and Mike Denness (Eng) during the 1970s.
• Caricatures from the Australian press from the 1880s and 1890s.
• Delicate silk handkerchiefs produced to commemorate the Australian teams of the 1880s–1900s.
Ashes to Ashes: Cricket’s Cracking Rivalry
National Sports Museum
November 12, 2010–March 20, 2011
Entry is included in general museum admission