The next Ashes contest will he hosted by England soon after the conclusion of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Getty

The Ashes urn will be making its journey to Australia for the first time after 12 years when it will be put to display at the State Library Victoria in Melbourne later this year, according to an announcement made by Lord's based Marylebourne Cricket Club (MCC) on Wednesday (March 13).

As part of age-old traditions, the urn stays at the MCC museum - situated at Lord's, London, irrespective of the result of the England - Australia Test series, but will be travelling to Australia to be put on display in the State Library's 'Velvet, Iron, Ashes' exhibition, which is set to run from December, 2019 till February, 2020.

This is only the third time that the urn will be travelling across from its MCC headquarters to down under. The urn was placed for public viewing during Australia's bicentennial celebrations in 1988 and travelled across six Australian cities in a span of three months during the 2006-07 Ashes series.

One of the oldest sporting rivalries, the Ashes, came to be known by its name after the Sporting Times newspaper mocked England for losing to Australia for the first time at home in 1882. "The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia," the newspaper wrote - in reference to the home team's humiliating loss.

On England's next tour of Australia, in 1882-83, a small terracotta model of the urn, said to be made from the ashes of a burnt bail, was presented to the visiting captain, Ivo Bligh, which symbolically ushered in a sporting rivalry that has stood the test of time.

Following the death of Bligh, the urn found a place at the home of cricket, Lord's, and has become a property of the MCC museum. In 1988/89, the MCC commissioned a Waterford Crystal replica of the original urn and it's now presented to the victorious captain of the Ashes contest. The urn is currently held by Australia - following their 4-0 demolition job when the two teams last met in 2017/18, in Australia. The next Ashes contest will he hosted by England soon after the conclusion of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

"We are delighted to loan the Ashes Urn, a symbolic and special treasure, to State Library Victoria," said MCC chief executive and secretary Guy Lavender in a statement.

"The story of the Ashes Urn is one that captivates so many people around the world and the State Library Victoria's exhibition is a very fitting place for its story to be told," he added.

State Library Victoria chief executive Kate Torney added: "We are thrilled to have the chance to bring to life the wonderful stories surrounding the Ashes tradition, which of course, began here in Melbourne."