England to play day-night Test as India tour schedule announced

By Sports Desk December 10, 2020

England will play a day-night Test at the redeveloped Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad as part of their tour to India in early 2021.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced the schedule for the trip in February and March of next year, with games to be staged at three bio-secure venues amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of returning home after completing the two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in January, England's squad will travel straight to Chennai from Colombo.

There they will play two Tests at the MA Chidambaram Stadium as part of a four-match series in the longest format.

The teams then move on to Ahmedabad, with the Sardar Patel Stadium - a 110,000-capacity venue opened earlier this year - hosting the first day-night Test between the countries. That February 24-28 contest will be the first of two Tests between the teams at the ground.

After the Test action, England will be involved in a five-match Twenty20 series with India in March, followed by a trio of ODI fixtures - all to be staged in Pune - at the end of the same month.

"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," ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement confirming the fixtures.

"We have been delighted with the planning that has been undertaken by the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] to ensure the three venues in Chennai, Ahmedabad 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."

Jay Shah, honorary secretary for the BCCI, made clear player safety is paramount as India deals with the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis.

India is only behind the United States in terms of total number of coronavirus cases, with the country seeing over 141,000 deaths so far.

"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," Shah said.

"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."

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