When Australia defeated England for the first time on English soil in 1882, a mock obituary notice was inserted in the Sporting Times lamenting the 'death' of English cricket and stating that the body was to be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. Later, an urn containing ashes came to be recognised as cricketing trophy, and now resides permanently at Lord's cricket ground. The mystery is this: where did the Ashes come from, and are they in fact still there? The author examines the official story and other, alternative suggestions, and details the personalities involved in the foundation of this great tradition. To understand the full significance of the Ashes to both countries, the author recounts the triumphant Australian tour of England in 1882, and the subsequent 'recovery' of the Ashes by England in Australia a year later. Cricket's Biggest Mystery: The Ashes is one of the most fascinating books to be written on the foundation of the competition for what must be one of sport's most unusual trophies. It will be a welcome addition to the library of every cricket enthusiast.
Ronald Willis was born in North Yorkshire, and was Burnt Yates Endowed School, Nidderdale, and Ripon Grammar School. After some year reporting on Dales' newspapers, he became a sub-editor on the Northern Echo before moving to the Daily Telegraph and then the Eastern Daily Press. In 1972 he became a columnist and feature writer on the Yorkshire Evening Press. In 1976 he migrated to Australia and has settled in Western Australia with his wife and daughter. A life-long York City Football Club supporter, he also has the unusual hobby of moustache-cup collecting.