The Test rivalry between England and Australia, also known as The Ashes, dates back to the year 1882. However, the system of awarding the Man of the Series was started almost a hundred years later in 1978/79.
The Man of the Series award is earned by the cricketer who has made the most important contributions for their team in the series. The first ever Ashes Man of the Series award was earned by Dennis Lillee in the 1978/79 series in Australia.
Here is the list of the previous Ashes Man of the Series award winners:
Ashes Man of the Series List from 1978 to 2022 :
|Year||Man of the Series||Series winner|
|2015||Joe Root/Chris Rogers||England|
|2013||Ian Bell/Ryan Harris||England|
|2010/11||Sir Alastair Cook||England|
|2009||Andrew Strauss/Michael Clarke||England|
|2005||Andrew Flintoff/Shane Warne||England|
|2002/03||Michael Vaughan/Glenn McGrath||Australia|
|1997||Graham Thorpe/Glenn McGrath||Australia|
|1993||Graham Gooch/Shane Warne||Australia|
|1989||Jack Russell/Terry Alderman||Australia|
|1981||Sir Ian Botham||England|
Generally, the Man of the Series is the player from the winning side as his contribution would have played a major role in them winning the series. However, the English Cricket Board started a tradition from 1989 where in a ‘Man of the Series’ from each side was selected instead of just one. Since then, in Australia, 6 Australians have won the award and only 2 Englishmen have been given that honour adding a bit of spice again to the bitter rivalry for England vs Australia Man of The Series.
Over the years, Australian bowlers Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne (who won 46 such awards in his career) are the only two players to have won the Ashes Man of the Series twice. Players like Joe Root and Steven Smith have the opportunity to get added to the list if they become the Ashes 2019 Man of the Series as they have already won it once in the 2015 and 2017/18 series respectively.
While most of the England vs Australia (Ashes) from 1978/79 comprised of either 5 or 6 Test matches, the number of matches were fixed to 5 from the 1998/99 series.
Also read : Winners list of Ashes