The 2019 Ashes are almost here! From August 1 England and Australia will be battling it out for the tiny urn that's meant so much to each country since 1883. England will be flying following their recent World Cup triumph and will be desperate to redeem themselves following their disappointing 2017/18 campaign and their confidence will be sky high making this the perfect opportunity.
On the other side of the coin though, Australia will be bolstered by the returns of Steve Smith and David Warner following their 12-month bans for their involvement in 'sandpaper‒gate' and the returns of two of these world-class batsmen should show that Australia will once again be a force to be reckoned with.
An England side full of confidence versus an invigorated Australia side bolstered by the return of two of their world-class senior players provides a tantalising contest and should have you and all other cricket fans around the world salivating at the thought. You will not want to miss this and the only way you're going to be able to watch this contest from anywhere around the world is with a VPN.
Which is the Best Streaming Option for Me?
Unfortunately this year the Ashes are being broadcast by Sky Sports in the UK and Foxtel in Australia, meaning that you will not be able to enjoy total coverage from anywhere in the world completely for free. However, I will provide you the best and cheapest options in doing this.
Just a word of warning. Each streaming option is specific to a region or country, which I will also provide, so you will only be able to watch from that country unless you are using a VPN in conjunction. With a VPN you can watch any streaming service from anywhere in the world, but I will explain that later.
Option 1. (UK)
You can buy a Sky Sports package for £23 a month, but you require an 18-month minimum term, so not ideal if your only intention is to watch the Ashes.
Option 2. (UK)
You can buy watch Sky Sports through a subscription to Now TV for £33.99 a month, committing only over a 2 month period in order to watch the Ashes.
Option 3. (USA) RECOMMENDED
You can purchase a subscription to Willow TV for $9.99US a month. Willow TV provides only cricket coverage all year round, so if you are a cricket buff like me, this will be your best option.
Option 4. (AUS)
You can purchase a subscription with Foxtel Now for $29AUD a month.
What is a VPN, How Do they Work and Where Can I Get One?
Due to broadcasting rights, broadcasters may only stream their services to their specified areas. They manage to do this through geoblocks. If they detect your IP address is from outside of their zone, you will receive a message saying you are not allowed access to view in your country. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network allows you to connect to a server from anywhere in the world and provide the illusion that you reside from that newly connected IP address. This is how you can navigate around the geoblocks placed by broadcasters.
VPNs all essentially do the same thing, however, some are better than others. Generally, the more expensive ones will have more servers all over the world increasing your range of streaming services you can watch.
Here is a link the top VPNs for streaming. I personally recommend ExpressVPN or NordVPN as they have the largest range of servers and are constantly up to date as some of the higher broadcasters, such as ESPN, can detect which are VPN servers and start denying access.
What Do I Need to Do?
- Download and install a VPN
- Connect to a server from the country you intend to stream from
- If you haven’t already, subscribe to the streaming service of your choice
- Watch and enjoy!
I think this will be a tight series, 2‐1 to England, as usual, I think rain will interfere with a couple of the results. I am backing in huge series from Joe Root and Steve Smith and perhaps one last push from James Anderson in what could be his international swansong.
Below I have provided the fixtures for the Ashes so you won't miss a second of the action
1‐5 August 2019, Edgbaston, Birmingham
14‐18 August 2019, Lords, London
22‐26 August 2019, Headingley, Leeds
4‐8 September 2019, Old Trafford, Manchester
12‐16 September 2019, The Oval, London
Enjoy and happy viewing!