The Ashes 2023: Squads, Schedule, Stats, Records, Broadcast – All you need to know

What is the story behind the Ashes? Why the Ashes series is the best? We answer all your questions about one of the prestigious cricket events.

Dillip Mohanty
Dillip Mohanty

Last Updated: 2023-06-15

Ben Stokes and Pat Cummins with the Ashes 2023.jpg

The Ashes - All you need to know

The biggest rivalry in the history of the great game’s greatest format is finally back again at the birthplace of cricket as England get ready to kick start an exhilarating home Test summer with a five-match Test series against arch rivals and the latest ICC World Test Champions, Australia. Here’s your guide for all things Ashes including everything you need to know to enjoy the cricket season.

What is the Ashes and how it got named so?

The Ashes is known as the pinnacle of Test cricket as the game’s oldest rivals England and Australia battle it out in a Test series. ‘The Sporting Times’, a British newspaper published an obituary after England’s defeat in the 1882 series stating that English cricket had died at the Oval and “the body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia. The England captain Ivo Bligh committed to bring ‘The Ashes’ back and since then the series and the rivalry in Test cricket has taken its name.

Which team has the Ashes in possession?

The previous Ashes series was played in Australia in 2021-22. The hosts won the series 4-1 and retained the Ashes which they regained in the 2017-18 home series. Pat Cummins was the Australian skipper in the previous series and will lead the team again. Ben Stokes is the current England Test captain replacing Joe Root who was in charge of the English team during their last tour of Australia.

What is the schedule and venues for the Tests?

The series will kick-start on Friday, June 16th at Birmingham and end at The Oval with the 5th Test scheduled to start on Thursday, July 27th. Following is the schedule of the series.

June 16th-June 20th, 1st Test, Edgbaston
June 28th-July 2nd, 2nd Test, Lord’s
July 6th- July 10th, 3rd Test, Headingley
July 19th-July 23rd, 4th Test, Old Trafford
July 27th-July 31st, 5th Test, The Oval

What are the respective squads for the series?

Australia started their tour of England with the WTC final and had announced a 17-member squad for the one-off game and the first two Test matches. England did the same announcing their squad for only the first two games. England’s limited overs allrounder Moeen Ali has come out of retirement to replace the injured left arm spinner Jack Leach. At the other hand, Australia opener David Warner has declared this as his final Ashes series putting a date on his retirement from the longer format wishing to retire at SCG against Pakistan early next year.

England: Ben Stokes (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steven Smith (vc), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, David Warner

Will this series be part of the new WTC cycle?

Yes, the upcoming Australia tour of England will kick start the latest cycle of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), which again will be a two-year cycle with the nine ICC full members comprising of champions Australia, runner ups India and the others: England, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka and South Africa battling it out in 67 Tests over a course of 2 years to get to the grand finale slated to be played at Lord’s, London in June 2025.

Who is the most successful batter and bowler in the history of Ashes?

Donald Bradman with 5028 runs is leading the all-time charts in the rivalry playing 37 matches in a 20-year span. Jack Hobbs (England) is right behind him with 3636 runs. In the current lot, Steve Smith has the most runs as he features at the 5th spot in the all-time Ashes run scorers having 3044 runs and 11 centuries to his name which makes him the third in the list of ton makers in the Ashes. Joe Root with 2016 Test runs is England’s highest run getter against Australia in the current squad.
The late Shane Warne picked up 195 wickets to sit comfortably at the top of the table with Stuart Broad (131 wickets) the highest wicket taker for England. Another current cricketer James Anderson (112 wickets) features in the top 10 list.

What records can be broken or set in the upcoming series?

If Australia registers  a 5-0 win under the leadership of Pat Cummins then he can equal the win percentage of 88.88 for a captain leading in at least 5 matches. The record is currently owned by Steve Waugh winning 8 out of 9 games under his leadership.

Steve Smith can break the record for most tons in the Ashes if he manages to hit 7 centuries in the coming 5 games. Even scoring a couple of tons will take Smudge to number 2 in the ton hitting club.
If Smith scores 336 more runs, he will surpass the Proteas duo of Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla to become the 15th highest Test run scorer in the history of the game.

Joe Root (11004 runs) needs 175 runs to surpass former Australia skipper Allan Border to enter the top 10 highest run scorers club.

If Stuart Broad (162) plays all the 5 Tests, he will become fifth player to play most Tests surpassing Rahul Dravid, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Jacques Kallis on his way.

Where can I watch the series live?

England and Wales Cricket Board has time and again ensured that the cricket played in England is beamed all over the world. Hence there are numerous broadcasters around the globe carrying the series. In UK, Sky Sports has the exclusive broadcast rights of England cricket until the 2028 season and will air every moment of the series live with BBC airing highlights and ball by ball radio coverage.
Channel Nine will broadcast and live stream the series in the Australian market with both SEN and ABC to beam it over the radio. Sony Sports Network has the exclusive rights in the Indian Subcontinent market. With airing the matches on its extensive bouquet of channels, it will also stream it on their OTT platform, SonyLiv. Bein Sports is slated to hit the airwaves in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region with the long-term partner SuperSport in Africa to continue providing the feed in the respective region. Viewers in New Zealand can tune into free-to-air channel TVNZ from the second Test onwards with Willow TV carrying the coverage in USA and Canada markets.

A rivalry implies banter, what’s cooking this series?

The Ashes has been a brilliant rivalry both on and off the field and the chirping usually begins way before the contest on the field. With social media coming in the picture, the players have got another way to speak their mind out. Recently England bowler Stuart Broad had said that the previous Ashes played in Australia (also won by the hosts 4-0) was void for him and didn’t count as a ’real Ashes’ series as it was played under strict COVID restrictions. The current Australian vice-captain Steven Smith has responded to the comment in a subtle manner stating "It certainly wasn't an ideal scenario. But the whole world was going through it and we were in the middle of a pandemic, so we couldn't really complain too much. We were actually out there being able to do what we love, so I don't really have much more to add to it.” Australian pace bowler Mitchell Starc added fuel to fire with his comments, “Was that really quarantine? They were still allowed to play golf on tour. Is that an excuse for 4-0? Dunno. It was a pretty good series to be a part of.” In response Stuart Broad hit back quickly against his Aussie counterpart asking him the number of away Tests he featured (0) during the tough period.

The English team is playing some exciting Test cricket under the new regime of Test head coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Stokes with some thumping performances at home and in the Indian subcontinent as well. It is a new challenge for the duo and the leadership group as they begin the quest of another WTC cycle beginning with probably their toughest series in the upcoming two year period to kickstart the proceedings. We will get to know how the Poms approach the challenge, come June 16.

Dillip Mohanty
Dillip MohantySports Editor

Dillip has over two decades of experience in creating sports content. As the Sports Editor of SportsBoom, Dillip brings in a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Dillip has worked with leading sports broadcasters and sports web content portals in Asia. He is an adept storyteller and has a special liking for data stories. He has a keen interest in data analysis and uncovering insights from large datasets. He loves to tell the story with rich and compelling data visualisation.