How to watch Ashes 2021-22: schedule, times, live streams, team news and more

The Ashes trophy on a cricket pitch
(Image credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
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An ignominious Ashes whitewash may now have been avoided, but there's still plenty of pride to play for between Australia and England Down Under. So if you're keen to see how this series plays out, we'll explain how to get an Ashes live stream from anywhere – including how to watch Australia vs England for free in some places.

How to watch Ashes 2021-22

Dates: December 8 - January 18

Start times: Various (full Ashes schedule below)

FREE Ashes live stream: Kayo Sports (14-day trial) (opens in new tab)

Global live streams: BT Sport (opens in new tab) (UK) | Sony Six (opens in new tab) (India) | Sky Sport (opens in new tab) (NZ) | Willow TV via Sling TV (US)

Watch anywhere: try ExpressVPN 100% risk-free (opens in new tab)

Few sporting events drum up national fervor quite like the Ashes, as Australia and England do battle on the cricket pitch over one of the oldest (and smallest) trophies in sport. But after just three matches, the hosts won the series at a canter, having blown a sorry England away in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Joe Root's battered and bruised players looked down and out, but at least managed to salvage a draw in Sydney... just. Ravaged by injuries, can they leave on a high note in Hobart?

Pat Cummins' Australia, on the other hand, have look surprisingly galvanized. Even when their skipper and Josh Hazelwood have had to miss out, their strength in depth has shone through. And they now boast the world's best-rated Test batsman, after Marnus Labuschagne's performances have helped him leapfrog - yep, you guessed it - Joe Root at the top.

It's one of sport's great soap operas, so follow our guide for all you need to know to watch a 2021-22 Ashes live stream no matter where you are - and, perhaps best of all, fans in Australia can watch the Ashes free on TV on Channel 7. Kayo Sports (opens in new tab) is how to watch the Ashes online and on your mobile wherever you are.

Keep reading for all the information you need, including details of the Test dates and schedule, the sides' teams and other key narrative around the series.

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How to watch the Ashes FREE: live stream in Australia

Foxtel Go (opens in new tab)

Down Under, cricket fans can live stream every match of every Ashes Test on Kayo Sports. This ad-free Ashes coverage is available through Fox Cricket, and can be streamed on your laptop or mobile wherever you are using the Foxtel Go (opens in new tab) app or the great-value streaming service Kayo Sports (opens in new tab). If you do like the idea of giving it a go, Kayo's plans come with a FREE 14-day trial (opens in new tab).

Not in Australia right now? Use a VPN (opens in new tab) if you're away from home to tap into your domestic coverage.

If you happen to have access to a TV throughout the series, though, then you won't have to pay a penny because Channel 7 will televise the Ashes for free. Do beware, though, that there is no Ashes coverage on the 7Plus streaming service.

Play gets underway at 10.30am AEDT on all five days of the 4th Ashes Test, with coverage starting an hour in advance.

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How to watch an Ashes live stream in the UK

BT Sport (opens in new tab)

That's not bad light deceiving you, the Ashes really are being shown by BT Sport this year. 

The schedule varies, but be warned that play invariably gets underway either late at night or in the dead of the morning. You may not think that's worth the pain right now, but the 4th Test starts at 11.30pm each night.

Don't forget that BT now has a £25 Monthly Pass (opens in new tab), so you can get everything BT Sport has to offer, including Champions League football and UFC, without a long-term commitment.

The BT Sport app will let subscribers watch the Ashes on any number of devices, including mobiles, tablets, consoles and smart TVs.

How to watch Ashes from outside your country

Below we've got you covered with your official broadcasting options for major cricket loving countries (and the US!), but if you're outside your country of residence and try to start streaming Ashes cricket via your local broadcaster, you'll soon discover that you can't, as it's location restricted. But there is a way to tune in regardless.

By downloading and installing a VPN, you can effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's back at home. That way you can enjoy your home coverage without having to find an illegal stream - assuming you comply with the broadcaster's fine print, of course - specifically its terms and conditions.

Use a VPN to live stream Ashes cricket from anywhere

ExpressVPN is the world's top VPN right now (opens in new tab)

ExpressVPN is the world's top VPN right now (opens in new tab)
We've taken the time to try out all the biggest VPN providers and we found ExpressVPN to be the pick of the bunch. It works with lots of devices and offers super fast connections across its many servers. 

Throw in its robust set of security features and ExpressVPN is the best all-round VPN for streaming - and perhaps best of all, it has a 30-day money back guarantee plus 3 months FREE (opens in new tab) when you subscribe for a year.

Access ExpressVPN via your laptop, iPhone, tablet, Android phone, PlayStation, Xbox and plenty more. Express is a do-it-all service that also benefits from 24/7 customer support.

- Try ExpressVPN 100% risk-free for 30 days (opens in new tab)

Using a VPN is as easy as one-two-three...

1. Download and install a VPN - as we say, our top choice is ExpressVPN

2. Connect to the appropriate server location - open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location

3. Go to the broadcaster's stream - head to your home broadcaster's site or app and watch as if you were at home - so that's Kayo Sports for Aussies (opens in new tab).

2021-22 Ashes schedule: Test dates and times 

  • 1st Test: Australia won by 9 wickets
  • 2nd Test: Australia won by 275 runs
  • 3rd Test: Australia won by an innings and 14 runs
  • 4th Test: Match drawn
  • 5th Test: Jan 14-18 一 Bellerive Oval, Hobart 一 2pm AEDT / 3am GMT

Composite image of cricketers Pat Cummins of Australia and Joe Root of England

(Image credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

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How to live stream 2021-22 Ashes in New Zealand

Sky Sport (opens in new tab)

Sky Sport (opens in new tab) is the place to watch the Ashes in New Zealand. Start times vary, but the earliest that play gets underway is 12.30pm NZDT, and the latest is 5pm.

The network is available as part of a range of pay TV packages, and Sky Sport subscribers can also live stream the action via the Sky Go service.

Cord-cutters and anyone else, meanwhile, can try the Sky Sport Now streaming-only platform - where a weekly pass costs just $19.99.

Anyone in New Zealand from abroad or vice-versa can use the VPN route (opens in new tab) outlined earlier to access their preferred coverage just like they would at home.

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Ashes live stream: how to watch Australia vs England Test cricket in India

Sony Six (opens in new tab)

In India, the Sony Sports Network has the rights to broadcast the Ashes. The full schedule is listed above, but the earliest start is 5am IST, with the latest being 9.30am. 

Sony Six (opens in new tab) will telecast with English commentary, while Sony Ten 3 will offer matches with Hindi commentary, and lastly Sony Ten 4 will broadcast in regional languages. 

If you prefer to live stream the Ashes on the go, you can do so with Sony Liv (opens in new tab), but you'll need a premium subscription to watch the Ashes live, which costs Rs 999 for a year, Rs 699 for six months, or Rs 299 per month. 

Jio users can watch the series free of cost with the JioTV mobile app. 

Anyone outside of India who wants to watch their home cricket coverage can just pick up a good VPN (opens in new tab) and follow the instructions above to safely live stream the action. 

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Ashes cricket live stream: where to watch Australia vs England in the US (and Canada) 

Image (opens in new tab)

In the US, the Ashes are being shown by dedicated cricket streaming service Willow TV (opens in new tab), which is available from a number of cable providers in the US and Canada. 

Willow TV subscribers can also use their cable provider’s login details on willow.tv to stream the Ashes right from their computer. Alternatively, Willow TV also has apps for Android and iOS.

A better option for those looking for an alternative to cable would be to opt for a cord-cutting streaming service like Sling TV

If you already have Sling, you can add Willow TV for an extra $5 for one month. And if you don't, then you can currently bag a big six of a bargain by getting Sling TV, which features 30+ channels, for and can be tried free with a free 3-day trial (opens in new tab).

The full Ashes 2021-22 schedule is listed above, but be warned that there will be a few awkward timings, with the earliest starts scheduled for 6.30pm ET / 3.30pm PT, and the latest set for 11pm ET / 8pm PT.

Ben Stokes playing cricket for England against Australia in the Ashes

(Image credit: MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images)

Where will the 2021-22 Ashes be played?

The 2021-22 Ashes are being played in Australia, with each of the five Tests being played at a different venue.

The Gabba in Brisbane hosts the opening Test, before play moves west to the Adelaide Oval, then east to the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground, after which Perth Stadium will host the fifth, and potentially decisive Test.

2021-22 Ashes squads: Australia

Pat Cummins (c), Alex Carey. Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Steve Smith, David Warner

2021-22 Ashes squads: England

Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Steve Smith playing cricket for Australia against England in the Ashes

(Image credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Who won the Ashes last time?

For only the sixth time ever, the Ashes ended in a draw the last time the series was played, which was in 2019.

Australia won the first and fourth Tests, and England took victory in the third and fifth Tests, while the rain-disrupted second ended in a draw.

That means Australia, who entered that series as the holders, having been victorious in the previous edition, retained the Ashes for just the second time this century.

Is the Ashes every two years?

The Ashes are contested roughly once every two years, 71 series having been played since its inception in 1882.

Australia have the upper hand, having won 33 Ashes series outright to England's 32. 

Six series have ended with the honours even, with Australia retaining the trophy on five of those occasions.

The Test results are far less evenly split, Australia having won 136 to England's 108, and 91 ending in a draw.

Why is it called the Ashes?

The Ashes founding myth is one of the most famous in all of sport. 

It started with Australia dishing out England's first ever defeat on English soil in August '82, a low-scoring affair that provoked hysteria from local media outlets. Some things never change.

A multitude of mock obituaries for English cricket were published, but it was the elegy penned by The Sporting Times' Reginald Shirley Brooks in early September, which gave birth to the concept:

In Affectionate Remembrance

of

ENGLISH CRICKET,

which died at the Oval

on

29 August 1882,

Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing

friends and acquaintances

R.I.P.

N.B.—The body will be cremated and the

ashes taken to Australia.

Weeks later, England captain Ivo Bligh pledged to "recover those Ashes" during the team's subsequent 1882-83 tour of Australia. His quest was successful, and the story goes that Bligh was presented with a tiny urn containing the ashes of a burned bail.

The urn is now on display at Lord's Cricket Ground, with a symbolic terracotta replica awarded to the winning team instead.

Why is the 2005 Ashes so famous?

England's victory in 2005 ended the longest winning streak in Ashes history, a 17-year era of Australian dominance during which England won just seven Tests, compared to Australia's 28.

The series is, therefore, celebrated as a classic within English circles, the two-run winning margin in the second Test - the smallest in Ashes history - evening up the scores after Australia comfortably took the opener, and spurring England to their first Ashes triumph since 1987, and their first on home soil since '85.

Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.