Several generations of Australian cricket fans have wondered why the Ashes, the supposed trophy for the Test Series between Australia and England, remain in London, having only visited Australia twice in over one hundred years, despite Australian victories.
BURNING THE BAILS recounts for the first time the true story behind the Ashes: that wooden bails were burnt by Janet Lady Clarke on Christmas Eve 1882 at her home, ‘Rupertswood’, in Sunbury, Victoria, after a social cricket match between some local lads and the visiting England team. Her son, Russell aged six, was witness to their burning.
BURNING THE BAILS is a fictionalised account of the story, told from the perspective of six-year-old Russell Clarke. The picture book story is supported by pages of historical facts gleaned from Clarke family documents, as well as rare, original family photographs, including one of Russell, his older brother Clive, stumps, bails and a cricket bat.