Bilateral cricket has been in full swing with some memorable series in 2021. With the international calendar packed for the rest of year, trophy makers, sponsors and cricket boards have been working overtime to ensure the presentation ceremonies have an eye-catching prize.
Here we look at some of the weird and wonderful trophies cricket has offered to winning captains. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or if using a mobile device, simply swipe.
The Ashes Urn
The original absurd trophy. England and Australia has played eight Test matches until the touring Australians won a one-off match at The Oval in 1882. The Sporting Times in London issued a death notice which read: "In Affectionate Remembrance of English Cricket which died at the Oval on 29th August, 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R.I.P. N.B.—The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia."
When England toured Australia in 1882-83, Ivo Bligh, the captain, was presented a small terracotta urn about 10.5 centimetres tall that legend says contains the ashes of a burnt cricket ball.
The two nations do not play for the exact urn these days — it's far too delicate to handle — so they play for replicas, which, let's face it, is just as ridiculous.
The ICC Test Championship Mace
Until recently, there's not been a championship for Test cricket. Instead nations play to be the ICC's No 1-ranked team that requires something a little stronger than a scientific calculator to work out. The trophy is a mace. It looks quite brilliant until you realise that the shaft of the trophy is a cricket stump.
The Warne-Muralitharan Trophy
Played between Australia and Sri Lanka, this Test series celebrates the two most successful spinners of all time. Mounted on a block of wood, the hand grips Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne are captured at the point of release in something akin the Grauman's Chinese Theatre handprints for Hollywood actors. It's quite tasteful, but absurd.
The 2018 Tuc Cup
This one really takes the biscuit. In 2018, in the UAE, Pakistan and Australia battled over the Tuc Cup - yes a trophy shaped like a large biscuit. Pakistan were the more hungrier of the two teams and sweeped the series 3-0. Even the sport's governing body joked about the prize.
The 2018 Oye Hoye Cup
Later that winter, Pakistan were unveiling another trophy fit for the mantlepiece. This time Sarfaraz Ahmed and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson were playing for another tasty treat. Oye Hoye is a potato crisps range by Pakistan's United Snacks. Despite the less-than-enthusiastic reaction by Williamson at its unveiling, the Black Caps won the series 2-1 and perhaps reserved a seat for it on the Emirates flight back to Auckland.
The cup also drew a few laughs from teasing Indian supporters.
The 1997-98 Coca-Cola Cup
One-day international cricket in the 1990s and Sharjah go hand-in-hand, but some of the trophies up for grabs were a little bizarre. The top of the pile is this Coca-Cola Cup that takes two men to lift. And to think Sachin Tendulkar scored two of his finest ODI centuries against Australia to earn India what's essentially an oversized bottle top. New Zealand were also competing for this.
The 2009 Compaq Cup
Never has one man's brilliance with the bat been rewarded with so much tat. It was another masterclass from Tendulkar that earned India the Compaq Cup (Powered by Intel) in a tri-nations series with Sri Lanka and New Zealand. It was billed as the first digital trophy. But like 3-D television sets and the Zune, you'll probably get a pretty penny recycling it at an e-waste facility.
The 2021 Moose Cup
One of the newest piece of cricket silverware was contested in January 2021 between Sri Lanka and England. To use its official name, the Moose Cup Powered By Daraz, is a giant cricket ball with antlers. Moose is a new clothing company in Sri Lanka, for those of you wondering. England captain Joe Root celebrated the only way you should with such a thing after clinching a 2-0 series victory.
The 2021 Bank Alfalah and Brighto Paints Test Series
Perhaps the Aye Hoye and Tuc trophies have forced the Pakistan Cricket Board into creating something a little more modest. The Bank Alfalah and Brighto Paints Test Series trophy for the 2021 series with the touring South Africans looks like something you were awarded at the end-of-season presentation when you were a youngster.
Cricket fans in the UAE will be pleased to know there's a Brighto Paints production plant in Ras Al Khaimah.