India to host England in 2-month cricket tour

LONDON (AP) — India will host its first bilateral series at home since the outbreak of the coronavirus when England visits for a two-month tour containing four test matches, five Twenty20s and three one-day internationals starting in February.

England’s players will head to India on Jan. 27 directly from Sri Lanka, where they are scheduled to play two rearranged test matches.

The test series between India and England starts on Feb. 5, with the third and fourth matches being the first to be held at the redeveloped Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the largest cricket stadium in the world with a capacity of 110,000. One of those matches in Ahmedabad will be a day-night test.

The white-ball leg of the tour starts on March 12 with the T20s.

England recently returned home early from a white-ball tour of South Africa after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the hotel where the teams were staying.

There were concerns about the mental health of England’s players in the bubble. They will be on the road in Asia for nearly three months from early January.

Jay Shah, honorary secretary for the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said the health of players will be a priority and that his organization “will leave no stone unturned to make sure that the tour is held adhering to all safety protocols” agreed by medical teams.

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