England have thanked West Indies for touring in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic by expanding their touring commitments next year.
The original plan was for the sides to contest two Tests and three T20s running from January to March, but the England and Wales Cricket Board has now agreed to play an extra Test and a total of five T20s.
The Test series against the West Indies will be the first in which the two teams compete for the newly-commissioned Richards-Botham Trophy, and the T20 series will be the biggest to date between the two teams in the game’s shortest form.
West Indies were the first team to tour England after Coronavirus lockdown restrictions were lifted for professional sport in the summer of 2020, with the hosts coming behind to win the Test series 2-1.
- England Men vs West Indies Men 2020 homepage
- England Women vs West Indies Women 2020 homepage
ECB chief exec Tom Harrison said: “The three-Test match series will form part of the next ICC World Test Championship, whilst the additional iT20s will provide our England men’s team with valuable preparation ahead of the ICC World T20, which takes place in Australia later that year.”
The development is a major boost for cricket in the West Indies, who estimate that each Test match is worth over £18m to the region, while every T20 brings in almost £3m.
Ian Watmore, chair of the ECB, said: “We hugely appreciated the support of Cricket West Indies, and all its men’s and women’s players, in helping us host a full season of international cricket in the summer of 2020.
“Following the conclusion of those tours to England we have been in discussions with CWI to understand how we can best support them moving forward and one way was to extend our existing England men’s tours to the Caribbean in 2022.”
Ricky Skerritt, CWI President said: “This expansion of next year’s England tour to the Caribbean is welcomed news for West Indies Cricket and for the region’s tourism economy.
“It has come about because of the special relationship that has been developed between our respective boards.”
It is understood the T20 matches will not clash directly with England’s Ashes series next winter, which does not yet have official dates, though if quarantine arrangements remain in place it may prove logistically difficult for players to be involved in both.
Friday January 28: 1st T20 International
Sunday January 30: 2nd T20 International
Wednesday February 2: 3rd T20 International
Friday February 4: 4th T20 International
Saturday February 5: 5th T20 International
Tuesday March 1 to Friday March 4: warm-up match
Tuesday March 8 to Saturday March 12: 1st Test Match
Wednesday March 16 to Saturday March 20: 2nd Test Match
Thursday March 24 to Monday March 28: 3rd Test Match
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