MUMBAI: England will play 12 international matches -- four Tests, three One-day Internationals, and five Twenty20s -- on their tour of India in February-March, and Ahmedabad will host seven of those, including a pink ball day-night Test.
The two other venues that have been allotted matches are Chennai, which will host the first two Test matches (starting February 5), and Pune, which will host the three ODIs (March 23 to 28). Mumbai will be conspicuous by its absence.
The third Test will be played from February 24-28 and will be a day-night affair at Ahmedabad's refurbished Sardar Patel Motera Stadium, which can accommodate 1,10,000 spectators; however, no fans are likely to be allowed inside and the match will be played in a bio-secure bubble. The BCCI statement, however, did not specify whether spectators would be allowed or not.
It will be only the second pink-ball Test in India, after the one played against Bangladesh in Kolkata last year. The fourth Test will also be played in Ahmedabad from March 4-8. The Test series will be followed by five T20Is, all to be played in Ahmedabad from March 12 to 20.
The last leg of the tour will feature ODIs and all three matches will be held in Pune. A BCCI source explained the rationale behind Pune and Chennai getting matches. "As per our rotational policy, Pune and Chennai were due to get matches long back. With this series, they would get a chance to host their pending games.’’
BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Thursday announced Motera as the venue for the day/night Test during the Gujarat Cricket Association's Indoor Academy inauguration.
No international cricket has been played in India since the T20 series against Sri Lanka in January. A series against South Africa was abruptly cancelled in March 2020 following the coronavirus outbreak, though the South African team had arrived in India.
England were originally to tour India for three T20Is and as many ODIs in September, but that tour was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.