Brisbane: Ricky Ponting has reopened the age-old debate about where the Ashes urn is held by declaring Australia should be rewarded with the real item if they defeat England this summer.
Despite originating in Australia, the urn lives at the spiritual home of cricket at Lord’s in London and series victors are presented with replica Ashes.
The 128-year age and frail nature of cricket’s most expensive artefact has meant it has only visited Australia twice, for the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988 and during an exhibition tour four years ago.
Ponting believes modern-day technology should ensure the Ashes winners get to house the urn.
“Why not?” he said yesterday.
“I know there was a lot made last time about how frail it was and whatever else. I’m sure with technology these days there’s something to ensure that it’s safe on a journey across the world, an Australian newspaper quoted Ponting, as saying.
England captain Andrew Strauss disagreed, saying the best and safest approach was to keep it in its glass box at the Marylebone Cricket Club museum where it attracts 50,000 visitors a year.
“I think it’s at the home of cricket for a reason. I think it’s probably too fragile to be transported around at this stage. I think its quite a difficult thing to do,” he said.