After the bruising 4-0 loss back in 2018, can England make amends and stick it to the Aussies at home?
The Ashes and Sky Sports round-up
What better to way to spend one of the hottest summers on record than splashing around in the paddling pool you’ve dragged into the living room and watching a banging week of sporting goodness on the telly?
Luckily for sports fans the length and breadth of Britain and beyond, at long last, the latest Ashes series is upon us! And while Australia are riding high as the title holders, England will be looking to put the borderline-whitewash destruction of 2017-18 behind them and take back the tiny, titular urn.
And there’s plenty more to feast your eyes on, with cracking golf from the men’s and women’s games, a match-up between two of women’s cricket’s oldest foes, some six-tastic T20, super-duper soccerball from the US of A and one of international rugby’s juiciest tournaments.
Intrigued? Tickled? Champing at the bit? Then simply read on for our pick of the action on show and the players to keep an eye out for.
The Ashes 2019
From Thursday 1 August, 11am, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (514/504)
Player to watch: Joe Root
Ay up! Joe Root (or, as a true Yorkshireman would say, “Jer”) is a man on a mission this series. The disastrous Ashes tour in 2017-18 came early on in his Test captaincy, and as such, could be attributed to his relative inexperience. But he’s had two more years at the helm since, and leads a squad more than capable of bringing the urn home. If they’re to do so, he’ll need to lead from the front and put in a few of the centuries that greeted his rapid ascent to captain back in 2017.
The Evian Championship
From Thursday 25 July, 10am, Sky Sports Golf/HD (CH 515/505)
Player to watch: Ko Jin-young
Since winning her first major at April’s ANA Inspiration, the young South Korean has been sensational. Sixteenth- and 14th-placed finishes in the following two majors belie her blistering form, with the 24-year-old looking likely to complete an audacious double as the fourth women’s major of the season begins in France.
WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
From Thursday 25 July, 7pm, Sky Sports Golf/HD (CH 515/505)
Player to watch: Matt Kuchar
The “Thunderous Floridian” has been at the top of his game this season, topping the FedEx Cup standings and finishing outside the top 20 of an event just once this season. As such, we think he’s well within a chance of bagging his maiden Invitational win as the third WGC event gets under way.
Women’s Ashes 2019 – 1st T20: England Women v Australia
Friday 26 July, 7.15pm, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (CH 514/504)
Player to watch: Ellyse Perry
England batters would be forgiven for snapping awake at night and shouting “PERRRRRYY!!!” at the very thought of Ellyse Perry bowling another ball their way. The Australian has been ridiculously good for them this series, taking a whopping seven wickets in the first one-dayer. Watching her play is a sight to behold… unless you’re an England fan, then it’s about as fun as explaining to your dad how to send an image on WhatsApp.
2nd T20, Sunday 28 July, 1.30pm, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (CH 514/504)
3rd T20, Wednesday 31 July, 6pm, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (CH 514/504)
MLS: New York City FC v Sporting Kansas City
Saturday 27 July, 12.30am, Sky Sports Football/HD (CH 513/503)
Player to watch: Héber
New York City’s season has been what some would call “bang average”, but their Brazilian forward Héber has been on fire. Since signing from Croatian side Rijeka, he’s banged in six goals in ten games and, though his side remain in tenth place, his form could well be the difference between a lacklustre campaign or a credible challenge for the season-ending play-offs.
T20 Blast: Essex Eagles v Gloucestershire
Saturday 27 July, 6.55pm, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (CH 514/504)
Player to watch: Alastair Cook
Essex’s Cook is cooking up a storm down in the reality TV capital of the world. T20 is where Cook can shine; smashing balls into orbit for fun. However, whether Essex have what it takes to reach the knockout round remains to be seen.
The Rugby Championship: New Zealand v South Africa
Saturday 27 July, 8am, Sky Sports Action/HD (CH 517/507)
Player to watch: S’busiso Nkosi
Blink, and you’ll definitely miss Nkosi. He’s fast, strong and hands to rival the most precise neurosurgeon. New Zealand look sure favourites to claim their fourth Rugby Championship title on the bounce, but with Nkosi, the Springboks have a talented team that could well upset the All Blacks’ dominance.
The Rugby Championship: Australia v Argentina
Saturday 27 July, 10.30am, Sky Sports Action/HD (CH 517/507)
Player to watch: Adam Ashley-Cooper
He’s far from the flashiest of superstar rugby players, but if there’s one thing you can say about Ashley-Cooper, it’s that he’s solid. Really, really solid. And, for a team currently enduring one of its worst runs in many a year, his vast experience will be a much-needed asset to Michael Cheika’s side.
MLS: Chicago Fire v DC United
Sunday 28 July, 1am, Sky Sports Football/HD (CH 513/503)
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
Rooney has looked his old, free-scoring self at DC United, just about running the show in every match and bagging the odd goal (or two) for good measure. Keep an eye out for the man – seriously, with his luscious locks and designer sideburns you might miss him the first time around.
Formula One German Grand Prix
Sunday 28 July, 2.10pm, Sky Sports F1/HD (CH 516/506)
Driver to watch: Lewis Hamilton
He’s the five-time champion who’s at the top of his already imperious game. His car (arguably the fastest around) is a big help, but it takes a special driver to consistently show this level of dominance. Last season’s edition of this race saw a tense title battle swing into Hamilton’s view. But this weekend’s race could well be the one that all but confirms his coronation in a few months’ time.
T20 Blast: Surrey v Kent Spitfires
Tuesday 30 July, 6pm, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (CH 514/504)
Player to watch: Sam Curran
Curran shot onto the scene last year, denting satellites and cementing himself as a future one to watch. Surrey will be hoping he can replicate this form in the T20 Blast and smash them into the final. If you’re in the area on Tuesday evening, just be mindful to watch for any rogue balls flying into your window…
Find out what’s on Sky Sports this week
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