This summer sees the rivalry of the Ashes resume between England and Australia, with the iconic series still regarded by many as the pinnacle of the game.
The pair meet over five Tests, with matches set to be played at Edgbaston, Lord’s Headingley, Old Trafford and the Oval, starting in Birmingham on June 16th.
|What||Ashes Series 2023|
|Where||Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval|
|When||Series starts 6 AM ET, Friday, June 16th|
|How to watch||Willow TV|
|Odds||England +160, Draw +550, Australia -110|
The Ashes is a Test series played between rivals England and Australia and is hosted in turn by each country at least once every two years.
It originated in the late 1800s when a British newspaper wrote an obituary of English cricket, claiming it had died following Australia's first-ever Test win on English soil in 1882.
A bail from that match was allegedly cremated and the remains taken to Australia with England's captain Ivo Bligh claiming that his team would regain the prize that had by now been encased in an urn.
The winner receives a small, terracotta urn containing the Ashes and, if a series is drawn, the previous holders retain the prize.
Australia have won 34 Ashes series with England winning 32 and the teams sharing the spoils on six occasions.
With the last edition having taken place in Australia in 2021/22, the 2023 series will be in England.
The five Test matches will be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham, Manchester's Old Trafford, Headingley in Leeds, and Lord’s and The Oval in London.
The first Test will begin at 6 AM ET on 6/16 at Edgbaston and should run until 6/20.
The second Test will start at 6 AM ET on 6/28, with the Headingley Test beginning at 6 AM ET on 7/6.
The final two Tests will begin on 7/19 and 7/27, both at 6 AM ET.
|1st||Friday June 16 - Tuesday July 20||Edgbaston||Birmingham|
|2nd||Wednesday June 28 - Sunday July 2||Lord's||London|
|3rd||Thursday July 6 - Monday July 10||Headingley||Leeds|
|4th||Wednesday July 19 - Sunday July 23||Old Trafford||Manchester|
|5th||Thursday July 27 - Monday July 31||The Oval||London|
All five of this year's Ashes Tests will be available to watch on Willow TV in Canada.
Australia were the comprehensive winners of the last Ashes series, which took place Down Under from December 2021 to January 2022.
Rory Burns was bowled for a golden duck with the first ball of the first Test, setting the tone for what would be a poor series for England’s batting line-up.
The hosts registered comfortable victories in the first three Tests, winning the third by an innings and 14 runs, as England’s batters registered just one total above 250.
The visitors did manage to bat their way to a draw in the fourth Test to avoid the whitewash before they were beaten by 146 runs in the final Test to round off a 4-0 win for Australia.
Despite the revival in the fortunes of England’s Test team in the last 12 months and the fact that they have home advantage, they are still +160 outsiders to win this year’s Ashes.
Australia are -110 favorites after taking the World Test Championship, while the draw is priced up at +550.
England last won an Ashes series in 2015, which came in their own backyard and will be looking to regain the urn for the first time in eight years.
Home advantage has been crucial in recent years with nine of the last 11 series having gone the way of the team hosting.
While Australia lead the way in terms of Ashes series won, they also have the edge when it comes to individual Test match successes against England.
Of the 340 Test matches played between the sides, the Aussies have won 140, England 108 and 92 have ended as draws.
Although England appear to be underdogs, they should draw hope from their new attacking style of play and the success it has brought them since Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes' appointments.
The early years of the Ashes rivalry passed without too much incident, but that all changed in the 1932/33 series in Australia, when England adopted the then-controversial tactic of Bodyline, with fast bowler Harold Larwood taking 33 wickets as the tourists won the series 4-1.
Sir Don Bradman - who scored 5,028 runs overall in Ashes clashes - helped the Baggy Greens exact revenge in style, going unbeaten for 20 years until 1953, including The Invincibles tour of 1948 - when Australia went undefeated throughout their entire tour of England.
A similar lengthy run of Aussie success came between 1989 and 2005, when Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath tore through England time and time again, eventually ending up with 195 and 157 Ashes wickets, respectively.
In between those long runs of Australian success came perhaps the most iconic individual performance of all-time in the great rivalry, as the 1981 renewal was dubbed ‘Botham's Ashes’.
England all-rounder Ian Botham started the series in abject fashion, but losing the captaincy after the second Test saw him rejuvenated and he took the tourists apart with both bat and ball across the next three matches - including in the 'Miracle of Headingley'.
A new Ashes series brings with it the opportunity for emerging players to make a name for themselves and there are a handful of talents to keep an eye on heading into the 2023 edition.
Harry Brook has been a revelation in England’s batting line-up and after just seven Tests, the 23-year-old has an average of 81.80 with four centuries in 11 innings.
If the Yorkshireman can bring that form into this Ashes series he could have a major say in which way the urn goes.
With the ball, England will be hoping to get another big run of performances out of their veteran James Anderson.
The 40-year-old has looked better than ever and relishes the English conditions, so looks set to cause plenty of problems for this Australia batting line-up.
Marnus Labuschagne was one of the stars of the show in the last Ashes, finishing with 335 runs, and he has firmly established himself as one of the best batsmen in the world.
Australia also possess a top-level pace attack, headed by skipper Pat Cummins, who has been the leading wicket-taker in the last three Ashes series.
Keeping Cummins quiet will be key to England’s chances of success, especially after he took match figures of 4-138 in the World Test Championship final.
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