The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Ashes trophy belongs in Australia’

Sydney: Glenn McGrath has renewed calls for England to hand over the Ashes trophy, dismissing claims it is too fragile to be moved.

McGrath, writing in his weekly newspaper column in the Sunday Telegraph, said Australia deserved the right to take possession of the Ashes urn despite English claims the trophy would be damaged if it was ever moved from London.

“The time has come for the historic Ashes urn to leave England and return to Australia where it belongs,” McGrath wrote.

“Provided we beat England this summer, I believe we should finally get our hands on the real thing.”

Australia have won their last seven series with England and are already on course to make it eight in a row this summer after winning last week’s first Test in Brisbane by 384 runs.

Despite their domination, English authorities insist the original Ashes, a tiny urn containing the burnt bail from the 1882-83 series, must remain in England, while the Australians can keep a replica. But McGrath, who has played the last five Ashes series, taking 106 wickets in 19 matches, has rejected the English argument the original urn cannot be moved.

“Surely we can find a way to transport it here and keep it in a safe place for our fans to see, just like English fans have been able to for the past century at Lord’s,” McGrath wrote.

“To win the Ashes seven times in a row — eight if we win again this summer — and still not get the trophy isn’t right.

“It’s a good way to keep it in your country by saying it’s too delicate to move. It means you can hang on to it as long as you like.” The only time the trophy was taken back to Australia was in 1988 as part of the country’s bicentennial celebrations despite a long and ongoing campaign to let the winners keep it.

“It belongs in Australia,” McGrath wrote.

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