English cricket appears to be recovering from the crisis it was in just a few months ago but the Australian world champions (who destroyed us 5-0 last time, in case you forgot) are on their way to our shores.

 

That's enough to make anyone a little nervous when walking to the crease.

But no matter what the outcome, there is bound to be some nail-biting action for fans to enjoy in your pubs.

Here's our round-up of what pubs and brands have in store for this summer's Ashes.

Come on England!

Marston's Pedigree

Pedigree's long association with English cricket has seen the highs of English victories through to the disappointment of the whitewash in Australia.

This year they have teamed up with a player whose pedigree is in no doubt, all-time leading wicket taker Jimmy Anderson.

In between terrorising batsmen across the globe the brand ambassador has found time for a brew: King of Swing, which will be available as a guest ale through to August. He created the 3.8 per cent pale ale with the help of Pedigree master brewer Emma Gilleland.

Jimmy says: "I spent the day talking to Emma about the style of beer I enjoy and the ingredients we can use to create my very own beer for the summer but in the meantime, I'm happy with Pedi!"

Publicans also have the chance to win signed merchandise, Ashes tickets and one will even get Jimmy in their own pub as part of a Father's Day promotion.

Gaynor Green, Marston's marketing manager, says: "Stockists will have access to a great range of support this year with point-of-sale and merchandise that has become collectors' items over our eight-year tenure with cricket."

 

Jimmy on your wall

Thanks to Marston's Pedigree, we have a signed framed poster of Jimmy Anderson that would look great on the wall of any pub.

To be in with a chance of winning, just answer this simple question:

Who did Jimmy recently surpass to become England's leading all-time test wicket taker?

Send your name, pub details and that all-important answer to:pedigreeCompetition@thevitalagency.co.uk

 

 

Hardy's

A few eyebrows were raised when this Australian brand became the official wine of English cricket in a three-year deal in 2014, but this is the summer Hardys has been waiting for. As well as pouring rights at grounds and extensive advertising, Hardys has signed up a number of ambassadors from the world of cricket.

 

Weston's Stowford Press

Westons cider Stowford Press has been behind the England cricket team since 2012 and will be giving the national side its backing again this summer with pouring rights and advertising at Test grounds.

It will be promoting its partnership with the ECB with a London Underground station takeover and a social media "name the England player" game, with the top 10 contestants winning Ashes tickets.

Stowford Press brand manager Sally McKinnon says it is vital for pubs to communicate clearly when they will be showing the cricket and to tailor their offer. She says: "Why not create a match menu including sharing platters or on-trend, casual dining foods such as themed gourmet burgers, BBQ or pulled pork? You could also create something engaging around the first man out or first six of the match."

 

Ashes Fixtures

First Test July 8-12 Cardiff
Second Test July 16-20 Lord's
Third Test July 29- August, Edgbaston
Fourth Test August 6-10 Trent Bridge
Fifth Test August 20-24, The Oval

All matches are live on Sky Sports and start at 11am

 

 

Our Ashes: The Red Lion, Evenly, Northamptonshire

The Ashes is always a high point for a pub known locally as "The Cricket Inn", due to the views it offers of local matches. It's in "window smashing distance" according to licensee pair Paul and Angie Crompton.

They recently took on the historic Marston's lease and have ensured cricket is central to their offer.

Angie says: "It's a small village, so it's important to stay at the heart of the community and offer a lot

of reasons for locals to use our venue for cricket-watching, dining, drinking and private events."

When the local cricket finishes, the team will host their end-of-season party at the Red Lion and other fund-raising collaborations with the team.

The Ashes will be shown on TV at the pub, which serves at least five cask ales and classic, home-made pub grub.

Our Ashes: Fellow, Morton & Clayton, Nottinghamshire

Adrian Draper attracts cricket fans throughout the day of Test matches to the Enterprise Inns pub he has owned for six years with his full Sky package and traditional pub offering.

However, when the Aussies come to town for the Fourth Test in August he is expecting things to really hot up, just as long as the match lasts longer than three days.
He says: "It really will be like five Saturdays when the Test is on."

The pub is attractive to cricket fans because of its location, close to the mainline station and a brisk walk from Trent Bridge, but mainly because it is a traditional, Victorian pub with cask beer and home-cooked food.

"We do not go for gimmicks," says Adrian. "They come here because of our reputation and because they want a proper pub. We are not talking about the football troglodytes, there is no problem with behaviour."

And while fans at the ground will be hoping to enjoy the spectacle in sun-kissed surroundings, Adrian will not be complaining if the heavens open. "If rain stops play it can be two hours of very good trading for us," he adds.