The Board of Control for Cricket in Indian (BCCI) announced the much-awaited series itinerary for England’s visit to the sub-continent next year. Along with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), BCCI announced the schedule and the designated venues for the 4 Test matches, 3 ODIs, and 5 T20Is on Thursday. Originally, England were scheduled to play five Tests, three T20Is, and three ODIs which had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
India will host its first international cricket series for the first time post the outbreak of the global pandemic. The Anthony de Mello Trophy will kick off in Chennai on February 5th. Chennai will also host the second Test.
The newly built Sardar Patel Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, touted as the largest cricket stadium in the world, which boasts of 110,000 seats will host the remaining two Test matches. The first of the 2 Tests in Ahmedabad will be a day/night Test. The pink ball Test will return to India for the second time after the 2019 Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata.
Ahmedabad will also be the only venue for the 5 matches T20I series. The BCCI has restricted the tour to just three venues keeping in mind the current pandemic situation prevailing in the country. The T20I series will be followed by the 3 match ODI series in Pune.
Mr. Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI commented, “The BCCI prioritises health and safety of both teams and will leave no stone unturned to make sure that the tour is held adhering to all safety protocols agreed by the BCCI and ECB medical teams. Both Boards have worked closely to put together an exciting series that promises to provide high octane action between two powerhouses of world cricket. This will be India’s first bilateral series at home since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the home season will bring back joy to cricket fans.”
Talking to the press, Mr. Tom Harrison, CEO of ECB said, “International cricket between India and England is a highlight of the cricketing calendar and always attracts significant levels of interest from fans around the world. We have been delighted with the planning that has been undertaken by the BCCI to ensure the three venues in Chennai, Ahmadabad, and Pune will be ready to host international cricket in a bio-secure environment and look forward to working closely with them over the coming weeks to finalise those plans. The prospect of becoming the first international side to play at the magnificent Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad adds an extra dimension to the tour and I know will be something that is a highlight for both the players and management.”