When does it start?
Tonight! The first of five Test matches gets underway at Edgbaston in Birmingham at 8pm AEST (11am local time). In a jam-packed schedule that includes five Tests and two tour games in a little more than six weeks, the other Test matches will be played at Lord’s in London, Headingley in Leeds, Old Trafford in Manchester and then back to the English capital for the final Test at The Oval.
First Test: August 1-5, Edgbaston
Tour match: Australians v Worcestershire, August 7-9 (not broadcast)
Second Test: August 14-18, Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31 (not broadcast)
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval
Will the time difference be a killer?
It’s actually not too bad! The first session runs from 8pm-10pm AEST every night, so you can at least watch the pre-lunch action in prime time before heading to bed. You could even squeeze in the second session from 10.40pm-12.40am before you catch some shut eye. And for those who don’t value sleep, or who have a few sick days up their sleeve, drag the doona out to the couch and settle in for the final session from 1am-3am.
Ashes session times
(Australian Eastern Standard Time)
Coin toss: 7.30pm (day one only)
First session: 8pm-10pm
Second session: 10.40pm-12.40am
Third session: 1am-3am
How can I watch?
The Nine Network are the exclusive rights holders for the Ashes in Australia. All five Tests will be shown live and free in High Definition on either Nine’s main channel or their secondary channel, 9Gem. The series will also be live streamed online at 9Now. Viewers are advised to check their local TV guides.
Nine’s coverage will feature pre- and post-game shows hosted by tennis champion Todd Woodbridge and led by Ashes-winning captain Mark Taylor as well as former star players Ian Healy, Mel Jones and Lisa Sthalekar. The commentary team on the ground in the UK will include cricket royalty like Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Michael Atherton, David Lloyd and Isa Guha.
What about radio?
ABC Grandstand will broadcast the series in Australia, with a stream of their coverage to be found via the Match Centre on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app as well as the ABC listen app.
How about online scores?
You're in the right place! The cricket.com.au match centre and CA Live app will bring you live scoring of every Ashes clash, as well as the tour games (the tour games won’t be broadcast in Australia).
I can’t stay up that late to watch it all … how can I catch up?
The CA Live app should be the first place you look when you wake up every morning. You can check the scores, watch extensive highlights of all the big moments you missed and read all about the biggest talking points of the day. We will also have none other than Ricky Ponting providing his exclusive analysis of each day to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
What about the World Test Championship?
The first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on August 1-5 will be the very first played as part of the first World Test Championship (WTC). The first WTC will run for around two years, culminating in the final in June 2021 in England, which is set to be played at Lord’s. After years of planning and several false starts, the WTC has been introduced as a way of bringing greater context to Test match cricket. Every Test played under the WTC will count towards an overall points table, meaning dead rubbers at the end of a series will be no more.
Australia will name their XI at the coin toss at 7.30pm AEST tonight, although coach Justin Langer has already dropped a few hints. Usman Khawaja is set to play after overcoming a hamstring injury, while paceman James Pattinson has all but been confirmed to play his first Test since February 2016. Opener Cameron Bancroft also appears set for a Test recall, alongside David Warner and Steve Smith. Tim Paine, Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins are locks, although there are question marks over the identity of Australia’s No.6 and their third fast bowler.
Possible Australia XI: Cameron Bancroft, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade/Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (c & wk), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle/Josh Hazlewood/Mitchell Starc
Australia’s squad (with shirt numbers): Tim Paine (c) (7) , Cameron Bancroft (43), Pat Cummins (30), Marcus Harris (14), Josh Hazlewood (38), Travis Head (62), Usman Khawaja (1), Marnus Labuschagne (33), Nathan Lyon (67), Mitchell Marsh (8), Michael Neser (18), James Pattinson (19), Peter Siddle (10), Steve Smith (49), Mitchell Starc (56), Matthew Wade (13), David Warner (31).
Uncapped pace ace Jofra Archer has missed selection for the first Test, with veteran seamer James Anderson returning to the Test XI at the expense of Olly Stone. As expected, vice-captain Ben Stokes and explosive batsman Jos Butler come back in after missing last week's 143-run win over Ireland at Lord's at the expense of allrounder Sam Curran and spinner Jack Leach. Captain Joe Root will bat at No.3 where he averages 40.47 from 40 innings compared to 48 one spot lower, with Joe Denly slotting in at No.4.
England XI: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (c), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson
England squad (with shirt numbers): Joe Root (c) (66), Moeen Ali (18), Jimmy Anderson (9), Jofra Archer (22), Jonny Bairstow (51), Stuart Broad (8), Rory Burns (27), Jos Buttler (63), Sam Curran (58), Joe Denly (24), Jason Roy (20), Ben Stokes (vc) (55), Olly Stone (26), Chris Woakes (19).