BBC extends Ashes radio rights deal

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England hold the Ashes urn, after former captain Alastair Cook led his team to a 3-2 victory in 2015

The BBC will continue to broadcast live radio coverage of the Ashes, including the Women’s Ashes, after renewing its partnership with Cricket Australia.

The new five-year agreement includes Test Match Special coverage of this winter’s five-Test men’s tour down under, which starts in November.

The women’s teams will meet in a multi-format series, including the first women’s day-night Test in October.

TMS will also broadcast England’s home Ashes series in the summer of 2019.

The deal between the BBC and Cricket Australia grants exclusive UK radio rights for all international women’s and men’s cricket in Australia, and non-exclusive rights for the Big Bash League and Women’s Big Bash League Twenty20 competitions, up to the 2021-22 season.

Ben Gallop, head of BBC Radio Sport and Digital, said: “We’re thrilled BBC radio will once again be the home of the Ashes in Australia for the next five years, and that we’ll also be covering some of the other great cricket competitions taking place in Australia over this period.

“This deal is a brilliant way to mark the 60th anniversary of Test Match Special, which remains one of the most-treasured programmes on the BBC.”

Cricket Australia’s Ben Amarfio added: “The BBC’s cricket coverage has long been an integral part of the sport in the UK, and this agreement will mean more people will be able to enjoy the scintillating cricket action this Australian summer and for the next five years.”

This winter’s series will go ahead after the ongoing pay dispute between Australia’s players and Cricket Australia was resolved.

Former captain Alastair Cook led England’s men to a 3-2 victory in the 2015 home series, regaining the Ashes after 5-0 whitewash during the 2013-14 tour to Australia.

England and Australia have won 32 series apiece, with five drawn.

Australia regained the Women’s Ashes – a multi-format, points-based contest – in 2015.

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