LONDON (Reuters) – England will host the West Indies and Pakistan in a total of six test matches from June-August 2020 as part of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday.
The competition involves the nine top-ranked test nations competing in a league between July 2019 and April 2021, with the top two sides progressing to the final which will be held in England in June 2021.
“The ICC World Test Championship will add significance and context to the test series against West Indies and Pakistan,” ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison said in a statement.
“Where every test matters, there will be lots of points to play for as England continue their efforts to reach the World Test Championship final.”
England begin their 2020 programme with three tests against the West Indies, with the first match starting at The Oval on June 4, followed by matches at Edgbaston and Lord’s.
They then face Australia in three Twenty20 internationals starting July 3 with both teams looking ahead to the T20 World Cup Down Under. The 50-overs world champions then play Australia in three One-Day internationals.
A three-test series with Pakistan starting July 30 at Lord’s will be followed by three T20s against the same opponents and three ODIs against Ireland.
England are currently playing Australia for the Ashes. Australia, who won the opener at Edgbaston, lead the five-match series 1-0 after the second test ended in a draw.
The third match begins later today at Headingley with Britain’s sports minister Nigel Adams urging fans to stop booing Australian Steve Smith during the Ashes series.