The Ashes 2021/22: How to watch England in Australia on BT Sport
Every ball from England’s 21/22 tour of Australia will be shown live on BT Sport as Joe Root’s side look to win the Ashes Down Under for the first time in 11 years.
The Ashes will be contested this winter when England face off against Australia, as the oldest and fiercest rivalry in Test cricket takes centre stage.
After months of talks, concerns about Covid-19 restrictions among the travelling party have been allayed and Joe Root and his squad are in Australia.
1st Test - Highlights
- BT Sport subscribers can watch all the best bits from the first days' play of The Ashes 2021/22 at the Gabba by clicking here.
Every ball from the five-match series will be shown exclusively live on BT Sport as England renew hostilities with Australia in the longest format for the first time since 2019.
With anticipation at fever pitch, we’ve answered some of the most pressing questions.
When is the Ashes?
The final Test was scheduled to take place in Perth for the first time since 1994/95, but has since been moved because of Covid-19 restrictions.
The second Test will be a day-nighter in Adelaide before the traditional Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
The Sydney Cricket Ground will host the fourth Test in the new year, with the location of the final Test yet to be determined.
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First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, TBC
Who won the Ashes in 2019?
The last Ashes series ended in a 2-2 draw in England in 2019.
The captivating series is remembered for Ben Stokes’ heroics at Headingley in the third Test when he guided England to an extraordinary victory.
Jofra Archer also emerged as one of England’s frontline bowlers and Steve Smith cemented his status as one of the world’s best batsmen with 774 runs.
Who currently holds the Ashes?
Australia retained the urn after the thrilling 2019 series because of their 4-0 win two years previous in Australia.
They hold the Ashes ahead of the 2021/22 series and haven’t lost a Test series against England since 2015.
Where to watch the Ashes
BT Sport will show every ball from the Ashes after renewing its deal with Cricket Australia.
Coverage of day one of the first Test begins at 11pm on BT Sport 1 HD on Tuesday 7 December with an hour-long preview show beforehand which will be made available for anyone to watch on YouTube.
Presenter Matt Smith will head up proceedings live from the BT Sport Studio in London, alongside former England internationals across the series including Alastair Cook, Moeen Ali, Steve Harmison, Matt Prior and Mark Butcher, as well as England women’s captain Heather Knight.
The team will be joined from Australia by special guest Glenn McGrath, with Alison Mitchell and Mel Farrell also reporting live from Down Under.
The commentary team for the first two tests will include Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Isa Guha, Allan Border and Mark Waugh amongst others.
In addition to being able to watch all the action online and on TV, BT Sport customers will be able to watch every ball live on the BT Sport app with our popular Timeline functionality.
Previously only on your mobile and tablet, it is now available on large screen devices for the very first time. Part of the Matchday Experience, the Timeline allows fans to re-watch highlights such as boundaries, wickets, dropped catches and more, and move seamlessly back to the live action.
Where can I watch Ashes highlights?
Following the close of each day’s play, Ashes Daily, a new daily live breakfast show, will provide fans with all the latest news, highlights and talking points from the action overnight.
How to watch Ashes highlights with BT Sport
Presented by Rob Armstrong, and featuring the likes of Steen Raskopolous, Jason Roy, Kate Cross, Vithushan Ehantharajah and Lydia Greenway, alongside journalists and cricket-mad celebs, Ashes Daily will bring viewers right up to date with the latest from Australia and is available to BT Sport customers on TV, online, and via the BT Sport app with the best bits then available to everyone via YouTube (from 2pm).
It will also be made available as a podcast, available to download from all major providers.
A full 90 minutes of highlights will be made available every morning for BT Sport customers following the conclusion of Ashes Daily and repeated later in the day.
A shorter highlights package will also be available on the app and btsport.com soon after the day’s play finishes.
What other Ashes programming is on BT Sport?
On the last day of each Test, viewers will also be able to tune into ‘The Cricket’s On’.
The show will be hosted by Miles Jupp with a group of cricket-loving comedians giving their take on all five Test matches.
It’s all about being a devoted Ashes fan and finding the humour in what’s going to be an epic series.
Miles will be joined by Geoff Norcott, Noreen Khan, Ivo Graham and Mark Steel watching at home and sitting up all night as they follow every ball on the BT Sport coverage. Stats guru Andy Zaltzman will be providing a unique insider’s view from Australia.
Will the Barmy Army be in Australia?
Coronavirus travel restrictions mean the noisier elements of the Barmy Army will be tuning in from home rather than making themselves heard from the stands, with a reduced contingent of around 1,000 Queensland-based expats holding the fort.
And while that means the atmosphere will be highly partisan, Root sees a chance to build a siege mentality with his team-mates.
“It’s an opportunity for us to get really tight and stand up to that. It’s going to have to be,” he said.
“More than anything we just need to make sure it doesn’t affect the way we go about things on the field. We’ll just embrace it, enjoy the atmosphere and try to thrive off that sort of arena as much as we can.
“It is hard to know because the guys who’ve been here before will have never experienced the fans not being there. We always appreciate the support we get away from home, it’s phenomenal, and I’m sure the Brisbane Barmies will come out in force and do everything they can to support us here at The Gabba.”
Who is in England’s Ashes squad?
England’s record wicket-taker James Anderson will sit out the Ashes opener in Brisbane after England opted to hold him back as a precaution.
The 39-year-old seamer had been widely expected to lead the attack against Australia at The Gabba on Wednesday and trained at full intensity in the tourists’ last major practice session two days out.
“Jimmy is fit to play, and is not carrying an injury. With five Tests in six weeks the plan was to get him ready for the second Test in Adelaide,” said a team spokesperson.
After months of speculation, Ben Stokes was added to England’s Ashes squad after declaring himself ready to tour.
The all-rounder had taken an indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental wellbeing and allow his injured finger to heal.
His return was confirmed on Monday 25 October, and he is set to play an integral role as England look to regain the Ashes.
There were no big surprises in Chris Silverwood’s initial 17-man squad, with the injured Jofra Archer and Sam Curran left out as expected.
Jack Leach and Dom Bess are the only spin options, with Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan also set to feature.
England’s squad for first Test: Joe Root, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
England squad: 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.
Who is in Australia’s Ashes squad?
Australia have named their team for the first Ashes Test three days ahead of time, with left-arm quick Mitchell Starc keeping his place and Travis Head completing the batting line-up.
Head coach Justin Langer had said he was keen to keep England guessing about the final make-up of his XI for the series opener at The Gabba, which gets under way on Wednesday, but the hosts instead chose to give an early look at their side.
Starc saw off stiff competition from in-form seamer Jhye Richardson, who pushed his case with eight wickets and a player-of-the-match performance on his most recent Sheffield Shield trip to Brisbane last month.
Head, meanwhile, got the nod over Usman Khawaja and will come in at number five.
Pat Cummins, who will captain the side following the departure of Tim Paine, said the latter call had been a close run thing.
He said: “It was a tight one. They are both really good options. Experience is great from Ussie and we feel really lucky to have that in the squad, but Trav’s been playing a lot for us the last couple of years.
“He’s gone away and he’s churned out runs in England, here in Australia, and we feel like he’s really ready to go.”
Australia team for first Test: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Australia squad for first two Tests: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson