England to play four Tests in India: Sourav Ganguly
The England cricket team is set to tour India in 2021 for a full-fledged bilateral series. Notably, the tour will now comprise four Tests, instead of five, to accommodate the limited-overs series that had been postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, Sourav Ganguly, recently confirmed the development at an online event.
According to the previous schedule, the two teams were scheduled to play five Tests, three ODIs and as many T20Is. However, under the revised schedule, the number of Tests have been reduced to four, while a total of five T20Is will be played. The change has been made taking into account the World T20 to be held in October-November next year in India.
Confirming the revised schedule, the former Indian captain said, "England are touring India for four Test matches, three ODIs and five T20s. It is a lot easier having bi-laterals because the number of people are less."
Last month, Ganguly announced that Ahmedabad will host its first Day/Night Test during England's tour of India. Notably, the BCCI is keen on hosting England and exploring all possible options, including creating bio-secure bubbles. Although the exact schedule and venues are yet to be chalked out, it is understood that Ahmedabad, Dharamsala and Kolkata are likely to be the three Test venues.
That apart, Ganguly has time and again hinted at the possibility of shifting the entire leg to the United Arab Emirates, if India continue to stumble amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the UAE recently hosted the 2020 edition of Indian Premier League.
Recently, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed that the nation will provisionally host India for a five-Test series in the summer of 2021. The Test series will run from August 4 to September 14, while five different venues will play host to the matches. Unlike last summer, the ECB will allow crowd to witness live action this time.