The 72nd Ashes series between England and Australia is into its final Test.
The hosts enjoyed a resounding victory in the first three Ashes Tests though England fought back in the fourth to take a draw.
Ben Stokes brought joy to every England fan by announcing his return to the Test squad following a three month absence. With the omission of Liam Livingstone from both the Test and Lions squad, fans had already begun speculation expecting that the all-rounder space was likely to be saved for the 2019 Ashes hero with the affirmative announcement released on 25 October 2021.
Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine stepped down from his role due to the recent reveal of his involvement in a texting scandal that took place in 2015. Fast bowler Pat Cummins has now stepped up to the role with Steve Smith the new vice-captain.
England and Australia have one of the most historical sporting rivalries with the Ashes series dating back to 1882 and the first recorded Test series taking place in 1878.
England haven’t won an Ashes series in Australia since 1985/86 meanwhile Australia will keep hold of the urn they have had since 2018.
In 2019, due to a rain-interrupted test match at Lords, the sides finished in a 2-2 draw resulting in Tim Paine’s side retaining the Ashes.
England last won the Urn during a home series in 2015 when the result came down to the final test match which England were able to win by 169 runs.
Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Stuart Broad and James Anderson were all part of the 2015 triumphs and are all set to start in next week’s test at the Gabba.
Here is all you need to know about how to keep up with the England squad and their Ashes series
What is the Ashes schedule?
- First test: Wednesday 8 December - Sunday 12 December 2021 at the Gabba, Brisbane
- Second test: Thursday 16 December - Monday 20 December 2021, Adelaide Oval
- Third test: Sunday 26 December - Thursday 30 December 2021, Melbourne Cricket Ground
- Fourth test: Wednesday 5 January - Sunday 9 January 2022, Sydney Cricket Ground
- Fifth test: Friday 14 January - Wednesday 19 January 2022, Hobart
The fifth Ashes test was due to take place in Perth but, due to Covid-19 restrictions, this is no longer possi
What times are the test matches starting?
- First test: 12am GMT
- Second test: 4am GMT
- Third test: 11.30pm GMT
- Fourth test: 11.30pm GMT
- Fifth test: 4am GMT
Where to watch the Ashes series
BT Sport have the rights for the coverage of the Ashes series. A monthly pass for BT Sport starts at £25/month and gives you access to every BT Sport channel without needing a contract or BT broadband.
The Ashes will also be available to stream on ICC.tv in the same regions via a pay-per-view subscription which will be announced shortly.
BBC Radio 5 Live Extra will offer live commentary for every ball of the Ashes series. This option will also be available to listen to through the BBC Sport Website where they will also provide running commentary, including text messages and tweets from fans around the world.
How to watch the Ashes highlights
As the series is taking place across the world, the timings are unlikely to suit many English fans.
BBC have won the terrestrial broadcasting rights for the highlight show, which will be shown on iPlayer in the afternoon in the UK following the conclusion of the day’s play out in Australia.
BT Sport will also offer short highlights of the Ashes after each day’s play.
England: Joe Root (c) , James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Australia: Pat Cummins (c) , Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Steve Smith, David Warner.
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