Test cricket back on free-to-air TV: all you need to know

Action returns to Channel 4 for first time since 2005 Ashes win...
Joe Root will skipper England. Photo: Getty ImagesJoe Root will skipper England. Photo: Getty Images
Joe Root will skipper England. Photo: Getty Images

Cricket fans are rejoicing after news that Channel 4 will show exclusive free to air live television coverage of England’s Test series against India.

Starting with the opening Test from Chennai this Friday, ball by ball coverage of all four Tests will be shown live on Channel 4 and All 4.

And for viewers who can’t manage the early 4am start, highlights will be available on All 4.

This will be the first time live Test cricket has been on free to air television since Channel 4 showed England’s historic Ashes win in 2005.

Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer Ian Katz said: “This is fantastic news for all cricket fans in the UK. It’s been a long 16-year wait for the return of live Test cricket to free to air television but it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“What better antidote to the lockdown blues than an England Test series in sunny India.”

Reports suggest Rishi Persad is being lined up to front the coverage, with Sir Alastair Cook and Sir Andrew Strauss providing studio analysis.

Channel 4’s Head of Sport Pete Andrews and Penny Mills, Head of Sports Rights, led the broadcaster’s negotiations to secure the deal.

Andrews said: “We’re delighted to be showing live Test cricket on Channel 4 again and given the recent performances of both sides this series is poised to be a cracker. We’re absolutely thrilled to have struck this deal with Star Sports.”

England will face a buoyant Indian side which pulled off a remarkable Test win in Brisbane which saw them secure a 2-1 series win on Australian soil, despite not having all their first-choice players available.

Captained by Joe Root, England will be bolstered by their convincing 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka which takes them to five consecutive overseas Test wins.

The series schedule is –

First Test, 5-9 February, Chennai

Second Test, 13-17 February, Chennai

Third Test, 24-28 February, Ahmedabad

Fourth Test, 4-8 March, Ahmedabad

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