3 of the Most Exciting Cricket Rivalries in History

Often one of the most exciting aspects of a sporting match is the rivalry between the two opposing teams. Whether they have a considerable history playing against each other, or their fresh opponents, it’s electrifying to watch world-class athletes come head to head in the sports they are so passionate about. It also provides local fans the chance to feel patriotic and supportive of their home team.

In cricket, there are a number of rivalries throughout history that have garnered attention from sporting pros and fans alike. From The Ashes to the bitter rivalry between India and Pakistan, we’ve put together three of the most iconic and exhilarating cricket rivalries throughout the game’s rich history.

1. The Ashes (England and Australia)

The official ‘Ashes’ came into existence after Australia defeated England in 1882, and The Sporting Times declared that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.

Today, the Ashes series is a five-match test cricket series played every two years. England and Australia take turns in hosting, meaning each country hosts the series once every four years. So far, Australia has won 33 Ashes, England has won 32, and there have been six draws. The winner of each series receives an urn, carrying on the tradition of the original “ashes” quote over a century ago.

2. India and Pakistan

The nations of India and Pakistan have tense relations as is – so throwing cricket into the mix makes for an electrifying rivalry to watch play out. The two sides first played cricket in 1952 when the Pakistan team toured India.

In total, the teams have played cricket 199 times over the years. Pakistan has won 86 matches, India has won 70, and there have been 43 draws. Tickets to their matches are in extremely high demand, with more than 800,000 applications for tickets to the teams’ match made during the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Fans of both sides are incredibly passionate, and occasionally, forms of hooliganism have been recorded following defeats or particularly tense matches.

3. Australia and South Africa

This notable rivalry commenced in the 2008/2009 cricket season when South Africa became the first team to beat Australia at home in 16 years. The teams have played 216 matches, and of these, Australia has won 111 times, South Africa has won 81 times, and the remaining have ended in ties or no results.

One of the most iconic matches between these two sides was in 2006 when the match in Johannesburg multiple records. Notably, on this day, Australia broke the record for the highest innings total in an ODI match ever.

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