Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting will join Sky Sports for its coverage of this summer’s highly-anticipated Investec Ashes series, which will once again include a dedicated channel for the entire series.
As the most successful Test captain in history, Ponting will bring his insight to a BAFTA award-winning Ashes team, which includes analysis from Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, David Lloyd, Ian Ward and Michael Holding. He will also be beside former teammate Shane Warne in the commentary box.
Sky Sports 2 will become ‘Sky Sports Ashes’ for two months of non-stop cricket television from Wednesday 1st July, giving viewers a week of build-up before the first Test. Fans can tune into the channel wherever they are via Sky Go, and online tv streaming service, NOW TV, to watch without a contract.
The channel will show every ball live from the men’s and women’s series. In another important moment for the growth of female cricket, this includes showing an England Women’s Test match for the first time. Sky Sports Ashes will also show daily highlights and classic clashes between England and Australia from the archives, running throughout the summer until Tuesday 1st September.
Ponting said: “I can’t wait to team up with Sky Sports for The Ashes in England this summer. It’s still the greatest event in cricket and I hope to give all the Sky viewers the latest insights as well as having some fun with Nasser, Bumble and the team.”
Bryan Henderson, Sky Sports executive producer cricket, added: “We’re excited to welcome Ricky to the line-up.
“Having captained Australia during some legendary Ashes series, he’ll provide some fascinating views and help strengthen our coverage even further.
“Giving The Ashes its own channel means our viewers know there’s only one place to enjoy all the build-up, live action and analysis as the great summer of sporting drama unfolds.
“The famous contest always promises to offer fans some special moments and a great battle. I’m sure this series will be no different.”
The Ashes forms part of Sky Sports’ biggest ever year of live cricket, including the ODI series against New Zealand and every ball of the Women’s Ashes.
Alongside the international matches, Sky Sports will also show every county, with live coverage of all three domestic competitions – the NatWest T20 Blast, the Royal London One-Day Cup and the LV= County Championship.
This summer’s Ashes contest is the tenth shown exclusively live by Sky Sports. Ball by ball coverage begins with the first Test at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff on 8 July.
Fans will be able to watch the action live wherever they are on mobile, laptop and selected tablets via Sky Go. As well as daily live coverage, Charles Colvile and Bob Willis will be joined by a variety of guests in the studio on The Verdict show, giving their reaction to every day’s play.
The Ashes Event Centre on the Sky Sports for iPad app is back, offering live coverage and for the first time cricket fans can choose from up to 17 camera angles to watch the action.
Viewers can relive the decisive moments from each day via the match timeline and the Hawk-Eye analysis tool allows the user to analyse every ball at home.
A dedicated microsite at www.skysports.com/ashes will offer all the news and analysis from our team of experts, as well as insight into the England squad.
Non-subscribers can also see the matches without a contract through online streaming service NOW TV.
By purchasing a Sky Sports Day Pass for £6.99 or Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99, they can enjoy access to all seven Sky Sports channels and watch on a TV with a NOW TV Box or on a range of devices.
Free-to-air highlights of the entire Ashes series, including all five Tests, plus the ODIs and T20 Internationals, will be broadcast nightly on Channel 5.