The 2021/22 Ashes series gets under way on Wednesday morning in Brisbane, but why isn’t it being shown on Sky Sports in the UK? Why has coverage moved to another channel?
England, led by captain Joe Root, will be looking to regain The Ashes in Australia over the coming months.
The Baggy Greens retained the urn in the last series – in England in 2019 – by drawing the series 2-2. Because Australia already held The Ashes, they retained it.
Root will be looking to steer England to only their third series win in their last ten visits Down Under.
The action gets under way at The Gabba on Wednesday, 8 December but Sky Sports subscribers in the UK will have to find another way to watch the action.
Why are The Ashes not on Sky Sports, and where will they be shown instead?
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Ashes not on Sky Sports
2021/22 will be the second Ashes series in a row in Australia that hasn’t been shown on Sky Sports in the UK. Australia won the last series 4-0 in 2017/18.
The reason for the channel change is down to a broadcast deal made by Cricket Australia. The governing body of the game in Australia elected to sell broadcast rights of cricket in the country to BT Sport in 2016.
For a five-year period until 2021, BT Sport was the place to watch all Australia home internationals and domestic cricket such as the Big Bash.
The deal has been renegotiated ahead of this Ashes tour, meaning coverage will once again appear on BT Sport.
The arrangement doesn’t affect international matches played in England, however.
What is the schedule for The Ashes
The five-test series looks a little different to normal. Because of the T20 World Cup earlier this year, the start of the series has been pushed back to December.
Normally, the first Test takes place towards the end of November.
Also, Melbourne’s Boxing Day Test is the third match, instead of the fourth, and the visit to Sydney and the SCG is match four.
The planned fifth Test at Perth has been cancelled because of covid-19 concerns, although a replacement venue will be sourced.
The Ashes schedule
- First Test – Brisbane – The Gabba – 8 December to 12 December
- Second Test – Adelaide – Adelaide Oval – 16 December to 20 December
- Third Test – Melbourne – MCG – 26 December to 30 December
- Fourth Test – Sydney – SCG – 5 January to 9 January 2022
- Fifth Test – TBC