The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup dominated the public's attention in the early part of the summer, with both England and Australia looking to win the tournament. England were aiming to win for the first time ever, but the Australian team were looking for a sixth title having won it five times already.
It is not all about the World Cup this summer though is it? If you're a fan of watching live cricket, you might well be looking forward to the 2019 Ashes even more!
The 71st Ashes Test series begins on Thursday August 1st at Edgbaston, Birmingham, where many an Ashes Test Match has been played before. The ground should be at a full capacity of around 25,000 from day one to day four and for the fifth day too if it gets to it.
That will be followed by the Second Test at the home of cricket Lord's on Wednesday 14th August, before quickly moving north to Headingley, Leeds for the Third Test which could be a decisive one.
By the time the two teams reach Old Trafford for the Fourth Test the series could technically be all over if England (or Australia) have won the opening three tests. If not, then there will be all to play for in Manchester before heading back to London for the Fifth and Final test at The Kia Oval.
It sure is, Sky Sports have the exclusive rights to The Ashes with every ball bowled and every run scored being shown live for you to see. Sky's dedicated cricket channel, which is currently showing the World Cup, will show all five tests live, plus highlights throughout August and September.
If you don’t have Sky, then there is the option to watch it on NOW TV which has various subscriptions available to suit all your needs. You can buy a Sky Sports day pass, weekly pass or monthly pass to watch a live stream via your TV, computer or smart phone.
Free-to-air broadcaster Channel 5 will also be showing evening highlights every day of all five Test Matches.
As usual, Sky Sports coverage of The Ashes will be excellent with all the in-depth analysis and live coverage. However being at an actual Ashes Test match cannot be beaten, so if you get the chance then it is a must.
Unfortunately most tickets for the five venues will now have been sold for days one, two, three, four and just in case, day five also. This is because most of the venues were selling tickets a good year in advance with priority going to club members and the regular goers to those grounds.
The remaining tickets went on general sale to the public with most getting picked up straight away. Which means current ticket availability will be very limited and they'll be difficult to get hold of.
Do not give up though as there is always a chance of getting a ticket if you check out the host ground club's website. If there is no availability of tickets on their websites then still do not give up.
The clubs do tend to get a limited number of returned tickets from fans that now cannot make it, these tickets however are not usually shown as available via the websites so it is definitely worth phoning the ticket office directly.
For many purists, Test Match Cricket is still the ultimate form of the game. With all its history, England vs Australia is surely the ultimate cricketing rivalry of them all.
The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.
English cricket fans grow up watching The Ashes and if you love the game then you certainly understand the enormity of what it means to win against the old enemy.
Well, Australia are the current holders of The Ashes after beating England by four tests to nil over in Australia in their 2017/18 summer, but surely they won't have it as easy as that this time around.
Home soil is a massive advantage and of the seventy series that have taken place over the last 130 years, Australia have won thirty three, England thirty two and there has been five draws. Can England draw level then and make it thirty three wins also?
They are favourites to do so having won all four of the previous series on home turf with Australia not having won in England for eighteen years now. Could that change this summer though?
The Ashes is like no other Test Series in World Cricket, it is the most watched and anticipated contest and that goes outside of both England and Australia too. Pakistan v India would potentially topple that (numbers wise), but due to political reasons those two have not met each other in a Test Match since 2007. When India won 1-0 in a three-match series in their own back yard.
The Aussies come into The Ashes with mixed form. In their last outing at the start of 2019 under the captaincy of Tim Paine, they won both Tests at home against Sri Lanka.
Before that though at the end of 2018, Paine captained the side against Pakistan in the UAE but lost the series 1-0. That was then followed by a disastrous 2-1 home Test Series defeat to India, the first team that has ever happened in Australia.
Form can easily go out of the window when it comes to the Ashes though. Literally anything can happen and with Steve Smith and David Warner now back after their bans, the Aussies definitely look a stronger outfit. Along with those two, the Australians have batsmen Finch, Khawaja and all rounder Glenn Maxwell to provide them with the runs required.
As for their bowling, well they have a few new names in their ranks like Jhye Richardson but it will be the experience of Pat Cummins and of course their man Mitchell Starc that they will be looking at to bring them most of their wickets.
England had been impressive in their recent Test outings, having convincingly beaten India by four tests to one last summer. With both new bowler Sam Curran and retiring ex-skipper Alastair Cook England's best players of the series.
Another impressive Test series win followed in Sri Lanka at the start of their winter tour at the end of 2019. This time it was another new comer in Ben Foakes that stood out from the rest as he won Player of the Series, with Root and Bairstow also in good form.
Things then came unstuck for England when they travelled to the West Indies for the next winter tour at the start of 2019. They were the easy favourites to win the three test series but in the opening two tests they were blow away by the West Indies and lost by 381 runs in the First Test and by 10 wickets in the Second Test.
They did manage to avoid the white wash in the Third Test, but it was certainly a wake up call for quite a few of the newer players as well as some of the old guard.
England are still struggling to find a good and reliable opener partnership, but that is nothing new having tried numerous batsmen to play alongside Cook over the years. None have lasted too long but maybe with Cook now gone, a brand new partnership can with found with the likes of Burns and Jennings stepping up.
Thankfully England do have Root, Bairstow, Ali, Stoakes who can all score heavily once they get themselves in. Then the old bowling partnership of Anderson and Broad with Wood backing them up can help England take as many wickets as possible.
Lets just hope it's going to be a superb series with some fabulous cricket played that we'll all enjoy!
Last Updated July 10, 2019