Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Answers to Ashes Special of 20th June '05

Hi folks! I could not publish the scores and the answers on time due to some personal problems. Sorry for that.

This round was won by Aravind Ghosh Suri with a perfect 10. Congratulations to him!!! In general, it is heartening to see many responses and quite a few high scores.

And now, time for the answers -

1. "In affectionate remembrance of English cricket which died at The Oval, 29th August, 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances, RIP. NB The body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia."

Australia's first victory on English soil over the full strength of England, on August 29, 1882, inspired a young London journalist, Reginald Shirley Brooks, to write this mock "obituary''. In which newspaper did it appear?

Answer: The Sporting Times

2. Which English spinner destroyed Australia in 1972 with the help of a fungus that infested the pitch?

Answer: Derek Underwood. It is alleged that the pitch was specially designed to suit Underwood's style of bowling.

3. Don Bradman went on an absolute rampage through England in 1930. He scored 4 centuries in the five tests. His scores were 131, 254, ___ and 232. Fill in the blank.
Hint: Think Mark Taylor.

Answer: 334. The highest score by an Aussie in test cricket before Mathew Hayden broke the record. Taylor had declared the innings when he was not out at 334 as he did not want to cross the mark set by Sir Don.

4. Which Australian captain told Plum Warner: 'There are two teams out there, Mr Warner, and only one of them is playing cricket.' ?

Answer: Bill Woodfull, who made his famous statement after being struck over the head by a Larwood thunderbolt during the bodyline series.

5. The first MCC organised Ashes tour of Australia was played in 1903/04. England won it against the odds and Plum Warner, the England captain, wrote up his version of the tour in his book which repopularised the Ashes myth in England. What is the name of the book?

Answer: How We Recovered The Ashes. This book is considered to have rekindled the interest of the english populace for the ashes series, which has not waned till now.

6. 1981, Ashes Series. Australia were set to increase their lead to 2-0 in the third Test at Headingley when they forced England to follow-on 227 runs behind. Famously, an English bookmaker offered odds of 500-1 for an English victory, and two Australian players laid a small bet. But England, banking on the performances of Ian Botham and Bob Willis, won the test match by 18 runs. The two aussie players were later reprimanded for betting on the outcome of a game, but not suspended. Who were the players?

Answer: Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh.

7. The 1924-25 Ashes series saw the debuts for Ponsford, Sutcliffe, Maurice Tate and all the tests were played without any time restrictions. This series also saw the first radio commentary of Tests. Australians won the series 4-1. What was the other unique feature that was tried out in the test matches for the first time in that series?

Answer: The first use of 8 ball overs in tests.

8. 1953, Ashes series saw the first professional captain for the England team. Who was the captain?

Answer: Len Hutton

9. It is 122 years old and it has stayed at its present place since 1927. The only time it left for a trip to Australia in 1988, it was flown by RAAF VIP aircraft and escorted to and from its place to the airport by a police escort. What am I talking about?

Answer: The Ashes urn and the velvet bag.

10. Ashes kept in the urn are the burnt remains of which material?

Answer: Well, this is a controversial question. So I have given full marks to anyone who has mentioned any of these - bail, stump, veil.

( Nobody knows for sure the right answer. Normal belief is its bail and/or stump. But the Grand Daughter-in-law of Bligh, the England captain of 1883 who was presented the ashes urn and the velvet bag, claimed in the nineties that it was veil and not bail. Another unconfirmed theory goes like this. A manservant at the in-laws place of Bligh had spilled the original ash on to the carpet and cud not restore the same inspite of his best efforts. So, he burnt some sticks and put the ashes in the urn.)

Keep watching this space. New questions coming up pretty soon!

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