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England got the draw they needed to retain the Ashes after heavy rain brought the third test to a premature end.
Play was eventually called off at 4.39 pm to the cheers of soaked fans still left inside Old Trafford, who later greeted the celebrating England players on the team balcony.
Watch the highlights of the third test as England sealed their Ashes victory:
England captain Alastair Cook has said there is a very "pleasant" feeling in the England dressing room after they retained the Ashes, but insisted that they were focused on going on and winning the series.
Speaking at an indoor presentation, Cook said: "It's a bit of a strange day. Today we had a little bit of luck and it's nice to retain the Ashes.
"It's a bit of a strange day. Today we had a little bit of luck and it's nice to retain the Ashes. The feeling in the dressing room is a very pleasant one. Now we want to go on and win it (the series)."
Prime Minister David Cameron has congratulated England's cricketers and joked about how the much-criticised British weather helped the team in their quest to retain the Ashes:
Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan has joked that England have "raintained" the Ashes after the wet conditions ensured England drew the third test against Australia helping them to retain the famous urn:
England's Ashes-winning captain Alastair Cook and Jimmy Anderson have been pictured signing fans autographs after England successfully won the Ashes for a third successive time.
England cricketers Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad have tweeted their delight at their Ashes victory.
England were able to retain the famous urn in just three tests after rain meant play was abandoned earlier today.
Australia's Ashes loss was their earliest concession of the Ashes in a series since 1929.
The third test draw did mean Australia ended a run of six Test defeats.
Famous faces including Piers Morgan and Lilly Cooper have paid tribute to England's Cricket players who have successfully retained the Ashes.
England have retained the Ashes after rain ensured the third test against Australia ended in a draw at Old Trafford.
Alastair Cook became an Ashes-winning captain for the first time in anti-climactic circumstances after the unpredictable Manchester weather spared his side a final-day battle to avoid a defeat that would have kept the series alive.
Umpires Marais Erasmus and Tony Hill officially abandoned the match at 4.39pm to secure England, 2-0 ahead in the five-Test series, a third successive Ashes success for the first time since 1981.