Ashes 2023: where to watch the first Ashes Test - dates, venue and squad ahead of first cricket Test match

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England will hope to regain Ashes urn as cricket series begins this week

After an arduous wait, the Ashes cricket series will return as England host the five matches for the first time since 2019.

We are just a few moments away from the first of the five Test matches as Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum hope to neutralise the Australian threat with Bazball. Pat Cummins and his squad have, however, just won the ICC Test Championship and have, therefore, won all three international trophies, the first team to win all ICC titles.

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Australia beat India by 209 runs with Travis Head and Steve Smith both scoring centuries and all five bowlers taking crucial wickets. England’s captain, Ben Stokes, has insisted that the upcoming series against the newly crowned red ball champions is just another challenge: “We know the threat that Australia pose, no matter who they are playing against, they are a very good team but we’ve found something that works and has been successful. That doesn’t change with the opposition.

“If we were to change anything from the last 12 months because we find ourselves in an Ashes series, then anything from the last 12 months will have been completely pointless.”

Ahead of the first Test match this week, here is all you need to know about how to keep up with the action...

Australia win ICC Test Championship in June 2023Australia win ICC Test Championship in June 2023
Australia win ICC Test Championship in June 2023 | Getty Images

When is the first Ashes Test?

The first of the five Test matches will begin this Friday 16 June and conclude, if all five days are required, on Tuesday 20 June.

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Each day’s play is scheduled to start at 11am and will end at around 6.30pm depending on light and how many overs of the day remain.

How to watch the first Ashes Test

Sky Sports will have all the action from the pitch. The match will be shown on both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket with coverage starting at 9.30am and a countdown programme beginning at 8am ahead of the 11am scheduled start time.

Fans can add Sky Sport Cricket channels to their Sky packages from just £15/month with full packages starting from £34/month. Those with Sky Sports can also live stream the action from Birmingham through the SkyGo app and on the Sky Sports website.

Are there highlights of the Test?

Yes - BBC will be broadcasting a highlights show at 7pm every day of the Test match which can be watched on BBC Two and streamed through BBC iPlayer.

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Where is the Test match being played?

The first Test match will be hosted at Edgbaston in Birmingham. England have lost just ten of their 54 Edgbaston Test matches and their last loss came in June 2021 where New Zealand beat them by eight wickets.

Australia also won their last meet at Edgbaston in the 2019 Ashes series, winning by 251 runs but England’s most recent Test match in Birmingham, in July 2022, saw them beat India by seven wickets.

First Ashes Test squads

The playing XI for England has been named:

England: Ben Stokes, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali*, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Australia: Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner

*Replaced Jack Leach who will miss the series after sustaining lower-back strain.

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