The Australian cricket team will tour England in the second-half of June, playing five One-Day International matches and one T20 match. Here are three big reasons why these matches are worth watching:
They share an incredible history
Australia and England have the longest standing rivalry of any two nations in world cricket. They played their first test match in 1877 – almost 100 years before some modern cricket-playing nations even formed their constitution. They play a series of test matches against each other every two years and this competition carries the privilege of its own name: The Ashes. Given their shared culture, and even the fact that they both technically serve the same Queen, it’s fun to watch them pick each other apart every so often.
England is on a quest to regain the Ashes
Here’s how the Ashes moniker came about: Australia won their first Test match in England in 1882 and a reigning British newspaper wrote a fake obituary which stated that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” That was the first time England went on a quest to regain the Ashes and they’re on that quest again after Australia won the last Ashes earlier this year. The match series starting on June 13th are not the Ashes, they’re not even Test matches. That’ll happen in 2019. However the English team’s vendetta means we can expect to see fireworks during this month’s matches before those Ashes.
Australia promise to behave better
Sledging – my favorite third reason to watch a cricket series – what does it mean? Even those who supposedly know can’t seem to reach consensus on a definition. Some call it banter, the kind that players and fans often engage in with opposite teams. The Australian team’s coach claims he “sledges” his own daughter when playing Uno. But sledging has often been equated to abuse on the cricket pitch, particularly when employed by the Australians. The Australian team has had its fair share of misbehavior, with their two best batsmen banned from this series due to a ball-tampering scandal earlier this year in South Africa. They are coming to England not just with an eye to win but to also restore a nation’s reputation.
England plays Australia on:
June 13 at 8:00am ET
June 16 at 6:00am ET
June 19 at 9:00am ET
June 21 at 9:00am ET
June 24 at 6:00am ET
June 27 at 1:30pm ET