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Ultimate guide to the first Ashes Test: Schedule, TV guide, betting and weather

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
7th December, 2021
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After all the talk and uncertainty about whether the series would actually go ahead, we’re ready for cricket’s biggest rivalry – The Ashes.

140 years of Test Match cricket is something to celebrate and Australia and England have given us plenty of memories.

But that’s all in the past and despite how good the likes of Joe Root and Steve Smith have been you’re only as good as your last innings as they say.

Form guide
Speaking of the last innings. It’s been a long time for Australia. They haven’t played a Test match in 322 days. It was against India where they lost at the Gabba in a thrilling last day.

England’s had far more cricket with 9 Tests this year. Their most recent series came against India at home in September. India had a 2-1 series lead before the fifth Test was abandoned when members of the Indian team tested positive to COVID.

Despite a lack of cricket, Australia’s still firm favourites to win the opening Test with PlayUp currently paying $1.89 to the home side. England are $4.90 outsiders with the draw paying $2.90.

Weather
The reason why the draw is perhaps a paying a little lower than you’d expect is due to the pesky Brisbane weather. As we all know Brisbane in summer means storms and there’s likely to be at least some interruptions during the first Test particularly in the afternoon sessions.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, there’s a 60% chance of 2 to 10mm of rain to fall on Day 1, 60% of 1 to 6mm to fall on Day 2 and there’s a 50% chance of some rain on Day 3.

It will be humid and hot for the players and spectators with 31-32 degrees forecast for the opening four days.

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David Warner

David Warner of Australia bats during day four of the First Test Match of the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at The Gabba on November 26, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Schedule and TV guide
If you’re lucky enough to be in Brisbane and the boss is kind enough to give you a day or two off you can catch the first ball live at 10am AEST.
For everyone else in Australia you’ll need to switch on the TV or find a stream from 11am if you’re in Sydney and Melbourne, 10:30am for Adelaide, 8am for Perth, 9:30am for Darwin.

1st Test Schedule December 8-12 AEDT

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
11am – 1pm 1:40pm – 2:40pm 3pm-5pm (play until 6pm if required)

You’ll have two options if you want to watch the Ashes on TV this summer.

For free-to-air viewers, you’ll need to head over to Channel Seven. They’ll have every ball of every Test live. Depending on your location, their coverage may be on 7mate at various points, so check your local listings to confirm.

Seven can be accessed on, you guessed it, 7 on your television. Seven’s HD feed is on channel 70. 7mate is 73 for standard definition and 74 for HD.

The other option is Fox Cricket, who’ll have their own unique feed with their own commentators. Their coverage will also be free of ad breaks during play.

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However, you need a valid Foxtel TV subscription to access Fox Cricket.

You’ll again have some options to choose from if you want to stream the Ashes instead.

The best option is arguably Kayo Sports, which will give you ad break free streaming of every Test, as well as access to all of Fox Cricket’s peripheral Ashes programming.

A Kayo subscription costs $25 per month. Kayo often provide a 14 day free trial for new customers.

Otherwise, you can use 7Plus – the same app everyone was using during the Olympics. 7Plus is free, but their coverage will have ads during play.

If you can’t watch the game you can listen on radio. ABC Grandstand’s digital station is usually the best option for listening to the cricket. The ABC Listen App also offers comprehensive match commentary.

Steve Smith (Photo by Getty Images).

Steve Smith (Photo by Getty Images).

Betting
With Jimmy Anderson being ruled out on the eve of the first Test, Stuart Broad has firmed to be England’s leading wicket-taker in the first innings at the Gabba. He’s paying $3.25 at PlayUp ahead of Ollie Robinson ($3.75) and Chris Woakes ($4.00).

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Despite having the captaincy on his shoulders bookmakers are backing Pat Cummins to relish the opportunity and show why he’s the number 1 bowler in Test cricket. He’s paying $3.25 to be Australia’s leading wicket-taker ahead of Josh Hazlewood ($3.50) and Mitchell Starc ($4.00).

In terms of batting it’s Steve Smith who is favourite to again break English hearts. He’s paying $3.50 to be Australia’s leading run scorer in the first innings ahead of David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne.

Smith is also favourite to be the player of the match to start the series.

Player of the match markets – 1st Test

Odds via PlayUp

Player Odds
Steve Smith $7.00
Joe Root $8.00
Marnus Labuschange $8.00
Ben Stokes $9.00
David Warner $9.00
Pat Cummins $12.00
Josh Hazlewood $13.00
Stuart Broad $13.00
Mitchell Starc $15.00
Nathan Lyon $15.00
Cameron Green $18.00
Chris Woakes $18.00
Jonny Bairstow $18.00
Jos Buttler $18.00
Marcus Harris $18.00
Mark Wood $18.00
Rory Burns $18.00
Travis Head $21.00
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