England confirm India tour itinerary
England face one of their most condensed home Test series after next year's schedule for India's visit was confirmed with five Tests to be held over just 42 days. It will be the first time since 1959 that India will have played five Tests on an England tour while the trip, which runs from June 23 to September 8, also includes five ODIs and one T20.
The Test matches have been crammed into a period from July 9 to August 19 with no other tour matches scheduled between any of them. In comparison, this year's Ashes series was spread over 47 days with reasonable breaks between the second and third then fourth and fifth Tests.
India will begin their tour with two three-day matches against Leicestershire and Derbyshire. The first Test will be played at Trent Bridge from July 9, while Lord's will host the second Test, which begins on July 17. While the ECB has listed the Ageas Bowl (Southampton) as a venue for the third Test it still needs to pass a final facility inspection before being rubber-stamped.
The third Test is also slated to begin on Sunday, July 27, a break from conventional scheduling in England, where Tests are usually slotted to include a full weekend. The last two Tests will be played at Old Trafford and The Oval, from August 7 and August 15, respectively.
The five ODIs, scheduled between August 25 and September 5, will be held in Bristol, Cardiff, Trent Bridge, Headingley and Edgbaston. India are also scheduled to play a 50-over game against Middlesex between the Test and ODI series. The only T20 match on the tour will be played at Edgbaston on September 7.
ECB chief executive David Collier said demand for the tickets is expected to be high: "We anticipate significant demand for tickets both for the Investec 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."
India previously toured England in 2011 when they were whitewashed 4-0 in the Tests, during which England went to No. 1 in the world, and they also lost the one-dayers 3-0.