The Ashes are a series of test cricket matches played between England and Australia.
Test cricket is a form of the sport with the lengthiest duration, and widely acknowledged to be the highest level of the game.
Only teams formally granted ‘test status’ by the International Cricket Council (ICC) participate in official series, which can last upwards of five days.
The first match of The Ashes occurred in 1877, in Melbourne, Australia. However, it was not until 1882 that the ‘Ashes legend’ began.
The 1882 match was particularly memorable, marked by a spectacular comeback by the Australians, in particular by the magnificence of bowler W.G. Grace, who allowed the English team only 2 runs in 4 wickets, leaving them 8 runs from what looked to be a certain victory.
The most prominent physical symbol of the series is the ‘Ashes urn’, which was given as a personal gift to the captain of the English team Ivo Bligh after their victory in a friendly game at Rupertswood mansion in Sunsbury.
It is believed that the urn, standing 11cm in height and made of terracotta, contained the remains of a burnt cricket ball.
This urn is the symbol most strongly associated with the Ashes series, and while it has spent most of its time in England, is to spend three months at the State Library of Victoria, from December 2019 to February 2020.
Throughout the course of the series, in terms of test results, Australia has had 134 wins to Englands’ 106, with 90 draws. As such, Australia has held the Ashes for roughly 79 years to Englands’ 56.
However, results between the two teams in the context of the entire series have been much closer, with Australia barely edging out England’s 32 wins to their own 33, with 5 draws between them. Draws between the teams result in the Ashes remaining at their previous location.
The host country of the Ashes series alternate between the two nations each series.
In Australia, the venues used are the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Gabba in Brisbane, Adelaide Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground. As per tradition, Sydney hosts the New Years Test, whereas Melbourne hosts the Boxing Day Test.
In England, the venues used are far more multitudinous and too long to list here, but notably, Old Trafford in Manchester, The Oval in Kensington and South London.
The quality of both teams throughout the lifetime of the series is a primary reason as to why the series is so popular, leading to the term ‘Ashes’ colloquially referring to other sporting contents between England and Australia, such as football and cricket.
Additionally, references to the Ashes can be found in numerous films and television shows, such as the 1953 film The Final Test.
The Ashes continues to grow and develop in popularity, as the sport of cricket for both Australia and England maintain their world class quality, drawing in viewers not only from these countries, but cricket fans worldwide.
How To Watch The Ashes Live NZ
There are many TV channels showing the games worldwide including:
- New Zealand: Sky Sports
- United Kingdom: Sky Sports (Live), Channel 5 (Highlights)
- Australia: Foxtel, Channel 9
- USA: NBC Sports Gold.
Step 1: Get A VPN Provider
To watch The Ashes live or on demand in New Zealand you can use Channel 9 Australia though you’ll need to use the best VPN provider to pretend you’re in Australia
Channel9 allows you to watch for free, you just need to create an account.
They have an app in the Play/iOS store, or you can manually download the .APK file for Android.
There are many different VPN providers out there on the web, from our experience the cheapest and most affordable option is PureVPN.
You’ll be able to buy a VPN using your New Zealand credit card/Paypal.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN Application
You’ll need to decide how you plan on accessing Channel 9 You could use your smart TV, Apple TV or just a computer web browser.
You’ll need to download the PureVPN Application to your device first, then their app or visit their website and create a free account on Channel 9.
Login with the details you were provided via email during signup.
Step 3: Choose Australian Server
You’ll now need to connect through to a AU based server. If you’re given an option of which city then I’d choose Melbourne or Sydney.
You’ll be advised by the VPN app once your IP has changed and you’re routing your connection via Australia.
You’ll now be able to go to the Channel 9 website/app and create a free account.
It’s 100% free to create an account. When asked for a postcode enter a random Melbourne one.
Step 4: Start Watching The Ashes Live
Search for the tournament on the website search box, although it’s likely going to be on the homepage.
You’ll now be able to play any of the on demand content available.
Keep your account and watch again every night.