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Root steps into future with new cricket channel

Joe Root celebrates a century in his maiden Test as captain Getty Images

Cricket's landscape has transformed beyond recognition since the game-changing introduction of Twenty20 in 2003. From power hitting to astounding boundary-rope relay catches, a constant need to improve has intensified the evolution of the game as it seeks to entertain, and Sky Sports are there to guide you through every second of it.

Cricket took a turn into the future when Joe Root led his England team out at Edgbaston for the day-night Test against West Indies, in a historic first for the country. Keeping the best traditions of Test cricket while shaping the match around modern lifestyles, the game introduced a new generation to the grand old game.

Much like the pioneering use of the pink ball, Sky Sports have also taken their best bits and given it a fresh twist, to create a permanent channel dedicated to cricket.

Providing unrivalled coverage from a star cast of commentators and pundits, Sky Sports Cricket exclusively broadcasts live ICC competitions, England home Tests, ODIs and T20s, women's matches and county cricket. With Sky Sports On Demand section, you can catch up on the action any time, anywhere. Then, of course, there's the new Sky Sports App, making it possible to watch all on the action live on the go, with its improved personalisation tailoring the content to the players, teams and pundits you love.

You may have noticed the change already, with the channel going live in time for the record-breaking Women's World Cup, where England broke new ground as they lifted the trophy in front of a sell-out Lord's crowd.

And Sky Sports' commitment to women's cricket continues to thrive, with live domestic matches broadcast on UK television for the first time this summer as the Kia Super League returned for a second season. Expect Finals Day in September to be the biggest of its kind.

Entering a new era of unparalleled growth, cricket continues to broaden its horizons and forge a more competitive international field. Out of the previous five men's tournaments, no country has claimed silverware more than once, demonstrating the fierce contest at the top of the game. Home to all ICC events, Sky Sports Cricket is the only place to see who lifts the next trophy, when fans descend on England for the much-anticipated 2019 World Cup.

Central to that competition will be an array of players whose heroics resonate beyond national borders, inspiring children and adults alike with their daring performances.

The sport has never been more accessible, with the likes of Root, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith on show to a global audience, adding an element of fun and theatre to their highly skilled displays, as they encourage the next set of cricketers.

Always at the forefront of technological advances, cricket has become a leader of innovation, enhancing the game and radically redefining the viewing experience. The Decision Review System (DRS), now a staple part of any matchday scene, originates from television's desire to remove uncertainty surrounding on-field decisions.

Stump microphones, hi-motion replays, Hot Spot, and player interactivity capture the in-game thrill up close, and are just a few of the improvements made by Sky Sports since showing cricket for the first time in 1990. While new visual developments, including spidercam and stump cam, take fans so near to the heart of the action that it almost feels as if you are out in the middle playing.

All designed to cater for fans' growing appetite to better understand the sport, the information is delivered with elite insight and enhanced statistical offerings. Favourites such as The Sky Cart with Ian Ward, where the genial presenter interviews players and coaches at the end of a day's play via the help of touchscreen replays, allows cricketers to dissect their performances and reveal the intricacies behind their art.

Delving deep into the facets of the game and bringing in-depth analysis comes from 'The Zone', too, a jovial masterclass setting led by legendary names. In need of a little tinkering with your batting or bowling? Let Brendon McCullum, Kevin Pietersen and Ellyse Perry help you with that. Catch up with the best through the regularly refreshed Sky Sports Archive programming.

But to appreciate the present you must first know the past. Cricket is built on centuries of history. Its customs and lionised protagonists make it the enthralling game we enjoy today. Those iconic moments, the type that form the sport's soul, are best cherished when going behind the scenes and discovering more about the players involved. Take Imran Khan or Michael Holding, South Africa's rise after Apartheid or England in the 90s, all unforgettable drama, all explored by Sky Sports' award-winning documentary section.

So, when Joe Root walks out for the deciding Test Match at Lords this week, there's only one place to follow the action on and off the pitch - Sky Sports Cricket.