Ashes 2023: England vs Australia fixtures, start times and TV channel for Test series

·7-min read
Josh Tongue - GETTY IMAGES/Gareth Copley
Josh Tongue - GETTY IMAGES/Gareth Copley

Ollie Robinson has suffered “no damage” to his left ankle, and is available for the start of the Ashes.

Robinson gave England a major scare when he played no part in the final five sessions of Sussex’s County Championship match against Glamorgan this weekend. He left the field with a sore left ankle, and appeared on the final day wearing a protective boot and hobbling about on crutches.

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He had first experienced what England described as “discomfort” on Friday, but bowled one long spell on Saturday morning to assess the situation. It was then decided to pull him out of the match. Oddly, his county coach (and step-father), Paul Farbrace, said the injury was more troublesome when walking than running.

It is understood that the soreness Robinson experienced came from "tendon irritation" but assessment on Monday revealed no damage, and he will join up with the squad as expected to face Ireland this weekend. Robinson appears unlikely to play that match, but no cover has been called up at this stage.

Ashes fixtures and full schedule

As usual there will be two Tests in London, at Lord's and the Oval, and the series will start at Edgbaston, the England players' favourite ground despite the so-called home 'fortress' being breached by Australian victory in 2019. Following the template of four years ago, the other two Tests are scheduled for white rose and red, at Headingley and Old Trafford, Trent Bridge missing out again.

  • First Test, Edgbaston, Birmingham June 16-20

  • Second Test, Lord's, London June 28-July 2

  • Third Test, Headingley, Leeds July 6-10

  • Fourth Test, Old Trafford, Manchester July 19-23

  • Fifth Test, The Oval, London, July 27-31

What time does each Test match start?

All five Tests are designated 'day' matches, commencing at 11am BST, and each day's play is scheduled to last until 6pm, although time can be made up to 6.30pm, if no breaks in play, to facilitate 90 overs. Lunch will be at 1pm and last for 40 minutes and tea at 3.40pm for 20 minutes.

What is England's record in the Ashes at each ground?

  • Edgbaston P16 W6 L4 D5

  • Lord's P37 W7 L15 D15

  • Headingley P25 W8 L9 D8

  • Old Trafford P30 W7 L8 D15

  • The Oval P38 W17 L7 D14

What TV channel is The Ashes on? How can I follow it in the UK?

Sky has the rights for domestic Tests and will broadcast all five matches exclusively live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event.

The BBC has a highlights package and will show Today at the Test on BBC2 at 7pm on each day's play.

The Corporation also has the radio rights for domestic Tests and will feature ball-by-ball coverage (unless you are listening on longwave during the shipping forecast) on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and via the BBC Sounds app. TMS coverage will be led as usual by Jonathan Agnew, alongside what it calls "an iconic commentary team" comprising Isa Guha, Simon Mann, Alison Mitchell, Daniel Norcross and Jim Maxwell, with summarisers Michael Vaughan, Sir Alastair Cook, Phil Tufnell, Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Ebony Rainford Brent, Vic Marks, Moeen Ali and Alex Hartley, with Andy Zaltzman returning as scorer.

Who is in the Ashes squads?

Australia named their squad for the World Test Championship (against India at the Oval, June 7-11) and the first two Ashes Tests on April 19.

Australia squad for first two Tests
Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vice-captain), Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

England announced their squad on May 16 for the first Test of the summer, against Ireland on June 1. Zak Crawley has retained his place at the top of the order with Dan Lawrence named as a spare batsman. Josh Tongue has been called up for the first time. The 25-year-old bowler impressed Steve Smith when taking the Australian's wicket playing for Worcestershire against Sussex recently.

England squad for only Test vs Ireland
Ben Stokes (captain), Ollie Pope (vice-captain), Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Dan Lawrence Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Mark Wood, Matty Potts, Jack Leach, Josh Tongue.

England's injury list

Ollie Robinson on crutches and in an orthopaedic boot - Ashes 2023: England vs Australia fixtures, start times and TV channel for Test series - Shutterstock/Neil Marshall
Ollie Robinson on crutches and in an orthopaedic boot - Ashes 2023: England vs Australia fixtures, start times and TV channel for Test series - Shutterstock/Neil Marshall

Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the entire summer with a stress fracture of the elbow, while Olly Stone is targeting the third Ashes Test following a hamstring injury. James Anderson has declared that he will be fit for the series despite a minor groin strain picked up playing for Lancashire. A further complicating factor is the uncertainty surrounding Ben Stokes’ ability to bowl; the captain came back from the IPL having played just two games.

That means the current, fit, fast-bowling department consists of Matthew Potts, Mark Wood and Stuart Broad. Brydon Carse is also out until the third Test at the earliest while Jamie Overton is out for the whole summer.

What is the recent history of the Ashes?

Seventeen months on from their latest winless tour of Australia (it is now 12 years since they last won a Test Down Under), England will begin their quest to regain the Ashes for the first time since 2017.

Ben Stokes' side have an awful lot going for them, winning 10 of their first 12 Tests under his captaincy, and also enjoy a superior record in the past five home series against their most venerable opponent, four of which were won and the last, in 2019, drawn.

After losing the first Ashes of the 21st century 4-1 on Steve Waugh's last tour here, England won back the Ashes in memorable style in 2005, regained them in 2009, both times by margins of 2-1, retained them 3-0 in 2013, won them back by 3-2 in 2015 and rallied to square the series 2-2 four years ago even though they were unable to prevent the holders preserving their possession of the urn.

In the 1980s and 1990s England's home Ashes series were elongated to encompass six Tests but since the conclusion of Australia's 1997 tour they have been wisely reduced to five and that remains the format this time around.

There is one significant and controversial difference, however because of the 50-over World Cup in October, which England will begin as defending champions, and the desire of the England and Wales Cricket Board to give its Hundred competition an August showcase, the marquee Test series will take part before high summer and only the final Test will be held after the state schools break up for the long holiday.

What is our prediction?

There have been merely two draws in 13 Tests in England following the Covid summer of 2020 and none in the past 10, writes Rob Bagchi. In 2015 every Test yielded a positive result and it would be fair to hazard that with good weather, England's aggressive tactics, Australia's brilliant attack, a more durable batch of Dukes balls and a home Ashes swansong for Messrs Broad and Anderson (84 and 44 Ashes wickets in England respectively, though Anderson managed only four overs in 2019), that all five Tests will end with a victor. England's excellent home record of late and their refreshing approach persuades this observer to plump for a repeat of 2015 in terms of series result but with closer matches: England 3-2 Australia.

What Australia are saying

Nathan Lyon has claimed that an Australian whitewash as this year's Ashes is '100 per cent' doable. Speaking during Australia's training camping, the veteran spinner believes his side have what it takes to dominate their rivals again.

"I've never gone into any game thinking that we're never going to compete well and win the game. I know it's a headline for you guys, but in my opinion and my view, every game I play for Australia, I'm going out there to win it. I'm confident heading over there."

"I think our squad should be really proud of the work that we've done over the last 24 months. I think it's been an incredible journey and something that we should be really proud of."

"This is a new challenge and I'm extremely confident going over there."