England in West Indies 2014-15 August 4, 2014

England return to scene of 10-ball Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

England will return to the scene of the 10-ball Test match when they play in Antigua on their tour of the West Indies next April.

The schedule for the three Test series was revealed following some political wrangling - an England Test is extremely valuable to Caribbean islands heavily reliant on tourism - with Barbados and Grenada the other venues.

In 2009 the Antigua Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium was abandoned after only 1.4 overs with the sandy outfield deemed a safety risk to the players. A replacement match at the Antigua Recreation Ground was hastily arranged which was thrillingly drawn with West Indies nine wickets down. England returned to North Sound earlier this year during their limited-overs tour.

Meanwhile, Grenada will stage its first Test since 2009. The National Cricket Stadium in St George's took over from the old Queen's Park ground as Grenada's international venue in 1999 but since then has only staged two Tests - against New Zealand in 2002 and Bangladesh in 2009.

The ground has also staged 19 ODIs but England have never played on the island, meaning Grenada will welcome an influx of England supporters for the first time next April.

England will also return to the Kensingston Oval in Barbados, a traditional favourite with the travelling supporters, where England were West Indies' first opponents in 1930. The teams played three T20s on the ground in March.

"We know the venues will prove extremely popular with the thousands of cricket lovers who follow England to the Caribbean," Paul Downton, Managing Director England Cricket, said. "It will also be exciting for many to visit the new venue of Grenada for the first time."

The West Indies tour is part of a packed 2015 for England which is likely to see them playing in every month of the year. They will be in Australia and New Zealand from January to March for the World Cup and a warm-up triangular series, then after visiting West Indies they host New Zealand at home before an Ashes series. Later in the year they are scheduled to play Pakistan in the UAE before a tour of South Africa.

A further indication of England's heavy workload is that three days after the final West Indies Test finishes they are set to play Ireland in an ODI in Dublin on May 8.

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  • Ali on August 7, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Jermone Taylor, Shanon Gabriel ....

    As a Trinidadian, and a big Fan of Sunil Narine ........

    I say: 4 pacers for the Barbados pitch ....

    4 guys at 140+ Kmph ....

    and no KP to bail them out...

    KP (being South African) is the ONLY English player who can handle genuine pace in a hot climate .. (his performance in Australia, showed that. Had KP not played in Australia , none of those Tests would have gone to a 4th day)

  • Paulo on August 5, 2014, 20:16 GMT

    So while the county season starts, the England players will be playing test cricket.

    Why not have it earlier and allow any players who play in the world cup to miss the series?

    Whatever happens,,England may want to consider a second spin option, as pitches in the West Indies recently have turned. Kerrigan and Riley are the best in county cricket, but are they ready? Borthwick did well on debut, he takes wickets and bats but is unpredictable and hasn't bowled much this season.

  • ESPN on August 5, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    2015 will be a punishing schedule. Does this not argue for a complete re- think about availability/ contacted players/ overall squad size? How about an England squad twice the current size which can be drawn upon by rotation as and whenrequired?

  • Dummy4 on August 5, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    Looking fwd to series. I want revenge and Eng must defeat WI this time around

  • Geeva on August 5, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    Why is west indies rotating tests around the islands , they should stick to the traditional 5 test venues!I do propose Dominica as the 6th venue!!The smaller grounds should host T20s or ODI's…the beauty of Test cricket is the history and tradition….the ARG was in the middle of St Johns easier access for the public!!!!

  • Dummy4 on August 5, 2014, 3:13 GMT

    Disappointed yet again, there are no matches in Guyana.

  • Roderick on August 5, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    As far as I recall, my maternal grandfather didn't have many good words for the Somme Salient as he found it in 1916, but it looks different 98 years on, so there's hope for Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

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