Cricket

Bumper Indian tour to England

2013-09-02 18:45
BCCI (File)

London - India will play five Tests in England for the first time since 1959 during next year's tour, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Monday.

The tour schedule also sees 50-over world champions India, who beat England by five runs in the Champions Trophy final at Edgbaston in June, involved in five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international.

Later Monday, the ECB confirmed Sri Lanka would be England's initial visitors in the 2014 season.

Sri Lanka's programme of international fixtures against England will start with a Twenty20 match in May followed by five one-day internationals and two Tests, the first at Lord's in London and the second at Yorkshire's Headingley headquarters in Leeds, northern England.

Three of the five India Tests will be played at southern venues, Lord's and The Oval, also in London, plus Southampton's Rose Bowl although, as the latter is a relatively new international ground, the Test there is still subject to confirmation following an ECB inspection visit.

Nottingham's Trent Bridge in the English Midlands will stage the first Test with the fourth at Manchester's Old Trafford in the north of the country.

Bowlers on both sides may be concerned by a schedule which sees five Tests due to be crammed into the space of just over a month.

The fact cricket is the leading sport in India, the world's second most populous nation, makes the country the economic powerhouse of the global game.

This is reflected in the hugely lucrative television deals the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) can command, as well as its promotion of the Twenty20 Indian Premier League which sees many of the world's top players earning millions of dollars to play for franchise teams.

Meanwhile the large Indian expatriate community in Britain means matches involving the India national side in England usually attract large crowds.

This was clearly seen during India's 2011 tour of England when more than 850,000 spectators, a record for an international season saw India defeated four-nil in the Test series and three-nil in the one-dayers, with the T20s shared at 1-1.

"This will be the first time England has hosted India in a five Test series in more than 50 years and the length of the series reflects the iconic status which contests between these two great cricketing nations now enjoy," said ECB chief executive David Collier in a statement issued Monday.

"We anticipate significant demand for tickets both for the Test series, and for the One-Day International series which will be the first encounter between these two countries in the 50-over format since India's triumph in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy competition at Edgbaston earlier this year."

In India last year, England won a four-match Test series -- Alastair Cook's first as full-time England captain -- 2-1 before sharing a two-match Twenty20 series and then losing a five-match one-day campaign 3-2.

Sri Lanka last visited England in 2011 when they lost a three-match Test contest 1-0 and the one-dayers 3-2 before taking the T20 series 1-0.

Sri Lanka 2014 tour of England itinerary -- international fixtures:

May 20: T20, The Oval

May 22: First ODI, The Oval

May 25: Second ODI, Chester-le-Street

May 28: Third ODI, Old Trafford

May 31: Fourth ODI, Lord's

June 3: Fifth ODI, Edgbaston

June 12-16: First Test, Lord's

June 20-24: Second Test, Headingley

Note: Details of Sri Lanka's tour matches against the counties will be announced in due course.

India 2014 tour of England itinerary:

June 23: India team arrives in UK

June 26-28: three-day tour match v Leicestershire, Leicester

July 1-3: three-day tour match v Derbyshire, Derby

July 9-13: First Test, Trent Bridge

July 17-21: Second Test, Lord's

July 27-31: Third Test, Rose Bowl

August 7-11: Fourth Test, Old Trafford

August 15-19: Fifth, The Oval

August 22: 50-over match, v Middlesex, Lord's

August 25: First ODI, Bristol

August 27: Second ODI, Cardiff

August 30: Third ODI ,Trent Bridge

September 2: Fourth ODI, Edgbaston

September 5: Fifth ODI, Headingley

September 7: T20, Edgbaston

September 8: India team departs UK

Note: Test at Rose Bowl subject to confirmation following final facility inspection

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