England Test under lights at world’s biggest cricket venue

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison: Delighted.ECB chief executive Tom Harrison: Delighted.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison: Delighted.
England will play a day-night Test in the newly-built Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on their three-format tour of India early next year.

England will travel directly from Sri Lanka, where they are playing two Tests in January, and stay for two months after agreeing a schedule containing four Tests, five Twenty20s and three ODIs.

Initial suggestions that the visit would be moved to the United Arab Emirates, as the recent Indian Premier League season was, have not come to pass, with the visit representing the return of international cricket to the country for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak.

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Just three venues will be used for the 12 fixtures, a concession to the difficulties of setting up ‘bio-secure environments’ in the midst of a pandemic.

Chennai will host the first two Tests, starting on February 5 and 13, before the circus departs for Ahmedabad and the new largest cricket venue in the world. Built to hold 110,000 fans, it is likely to be empty given the current state of the virus, with the third Test of the series between February 24-28 set to be played under lights with the pink ball.

The Test series will conclude in Ahmedabad on traditional timings, followed by all five T20s at the same venue.

Pune then takes over hosting duties for the three 50-over matches, wrapping up on March 28.

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Tom Harrison, chief executive of the ECB, said: “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.”

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