IND vs ENG: Ahmedabad to host pink-ball Test in 2021

The four-match Test series will begin in Chennai from February 5. The ODI series will be held in Pune from March 23.

An aerial view of the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad, when it was under construction, in October, 2019. - VIJAY SONEJI

The Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the pink-ball Test between India and England on February 24.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah on Thursday said that the newly-built Motera Stadium will host a couple of Tests - including the pink-ball fixture - along with five T20Is.

The tour will begin in Chennai with the Test series from February 5- followed by a five-match T20I series in Ahmedabad.

In a statement, the Board announced that M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai will host the first two Tests in a bio-secured environment. The Board officials confirmed to Sportstar that Chennai was preferred over other venues because of its proximity to Sri Lanka - from where the England team will travel to India.

The England players are expected to reach Chennai by the last week of January after their series against Sri Lanka in January. The three-match ODI series will be held in Pune, from March 23.

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Even though the BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly had earlier stated that Ahmedabad will host the pink-ball Test, there were doubts over the series due to the rising COVID-19 cases. However, interacting with the scribes in Ahmedabad on Thursday, while inaugurating the GCA indoor facility, Shah made it clear that the series will go on as per plan.

“The Test series will commence on February 7 and the day-night Test will be played in Ahmedabad (at the Motera Stadium) from February 24,” Shah said.

ECB CEO, Tom Harrison sai: "International cricket between India and England is a highlight of the cricketing calendar and always attracts significant levels of interest from fans around the world. We have been delighted with the planning that has been undertaken by the BCCI to ensure the three venues in Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune will be ready to host international cricket in a bio-secure environment and look forward to working closely with them over the coming weeks to finalise those plans. The prospect of becoming the first international side to play at the magnificent Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad adds an extra dimension to the tour and I know will be something that is a highlight for both the players and management."

Over the last few years, the BCCI has planned the ODI and T20I series based on whether the next ICC event is a 50-over event or a 20-over event. The five T20Is against England will be preparation for Virat Kohli's team for the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India in October-November, next year.

The Fixtures

February 5-9: First Test - Chennai

February 13-17: Second Test - Chennai

February 24-28: Third Test (Day-Night) - Ahmedabad

March 4-8: Fourth Test - Ahmedabad

T20IS - all matches in Ahmedabad - March 12, 14, 16, 18, 20

ODIs - all matches in Pune - March 23, 26, 28