The 2017/18 Ashes series will be contested between Australia and England, between the dates of November 2017 and January 2018. As the previous series was played in England, the 2017/18 Ashes will be played in Australia, in-front of thousands of passionate Australian cricket fans and the travelling Barmy Army.
The venues are likely to be the GABBA, Adelaide Oval, the WACA, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground. There is some discussion over whether the WACA will actually be used, as the new Perth Cricket Ground is ahead of schedule and it may be open in time, to replace the WACA and host its first Test Match.
The Ashes, is a truly historic sporting event, dating back to 1882, when England played Australia in three Test Matches, winning two of them. Since then, the rivalry has grown and the series has become the biggest and most popular in Test Match cricket today. Who can forget the bodyline tour of 1932/33, when the England bowling attack, under captain Douglas Jardine, targeted the body of the batsman, instead of aiming for the stumps. This tactic was created with the Australian batsman, Don Bradman in mind and led to much ill-feeling between the two teams.
Perhaps the best Ashes Series of them all, was on English soil in 2005, when England won the Ashes for the first time in 16 years. However, it wasn’t so much the result of the series, rather the manner in which it was played, which will live long in the memory. This was perhaps the greatest Test series ever played and if the 2017/18 Ashes Series can get anywhere close to the drama and quality of cricket on show, we are in for a cracking few months of cricket.
England, having won the 2015 Ashes Series on home soil, will be defending the urn and Alastair Cook will be looking back to the success of the 2010/11 tour for inspiration, when England retained the Ashes, having won three of the five Test Matches. This was England’s first success in Australia since 1986/87 and they will not want to wait a further 20 years, to taste another victory.
However, Australia are currently favourites and rightly so given they have home advantage. The England teams could be much different to that which faced Australia in 2015 and the likes of bowling sensation, James Anderson, may no longer be present. However, the Australian team will not be full of Ashes experience either, which could make for a very exciting series.
Who wins The Ashes 2017-18?