Sky Sports plan Australia-heavy commentary team for the Ashes
Sky Sports' commentary team for the Ashes will include Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen and two former Australia captains in Ricky Ponting and Mark Taylor, Telegraph Sport can reveal.
Dinesh Karthik, Kumar Sangakkara and Mel Jones will also join the team alongside Sky regulars Ian Ward, Nasser Hussain, Mike Atherton and Mark Butcher. Sir Andrew Strauss will work on the Lord’s Test, which will again have a fundraising day for the Ruth Strauss Foundation.
Sky Sports has been eager to promote new faces after a series of departures in recent years. Before the home summer of 2022, Rob Key left his position to become England’s managing director, while commentary favourite Shane Warne passed away. Since 2019, former England players David Gower, Sir Ian Botham, David Lloyd and West Indies great Michael Holding have also all left their berths after distinguished commentary careers.
Former England limited-overs captain Morgan, who is continuing his transition away from his international playing career which ended last year, before playing his final domestic game in February, quickly became a key part of Sky's coverage last summer.
Morgan worked as a broadcaster during the T20 World Cup in October and November and is now set to commentate on the majority of the five Ashes Tests, which begin at Edgbaston on June 16. Although he is better known for his white-ball exploits, having led England to the 50-over World Cup in 2019, he played 16 Tests from 2010 to 2012, scoring two hundreds.
Australian legend Ponting, who won five Ashes series, and Pietersen, whose 158 at The Oval in 2005 is one of the most famous innings in the history of the contest, will reunite in June having been key players in one of the most iconic series of all time.
Taylor, who captained Australia from 1994 to 1999, has worked extensively on Australian TV coverage for Channel Nine and covered England's first Test against New Zealand last summer which commemorated Warne.
Sky's group of commentators will rotate throughout the five Tests, which will finish at The Oval from July 27-31.
For the Women’s Ashes, which begins with a five-day Test at Trent Bridge on June 22 before a three-match T20 and ODI series, the Sky Sports team includes Jones and Butcher alongside Nick Knight and former England players Isa Guha, Lydia Greenway and Charlotte Edwards.
New Zealand’s Simon Doull will also be part of the team, joining broadcaster and former Leicestershire cricketer Charles Dagnall. England cricketer Lauren Winfield-Hill, part of the squad for the T20 World Cup earlier this year, could also be involved during matches that she does not play in.