England could host Test matches against New Zealand or Ireland during its 2021 summer, in case the ICC World Test Championship final, originally stated to be held in June 2021, is postponed.
England will host India for a full-fledged rubber next summer, which will include five Test matches but the uncertainty regarding the staging of the inaugural Test championship has forced the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] to draw up contingency plans, which involve inviting at least one other team to the country to play one or two Tests.
According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, the ECB has held talks with New Zealand Cricket [NZC] and Cricket Ireland [CI] regarding the same.
“We have had a level of engagement in relation to the possibility of a Test in England in 2021. It’s not in the current FTP so we fully understand it can only work around ECB’s busy schedule. We’re happy to be patient until those discussions progress and we’ll manage our expectations accordingly.” Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland chief executive, told ESPNCricinfo.
Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council [ICC] is keen to continue with its plans to stage the inaugural World Test Championship final in June 2021. But, with the coronavirus pandemic resulting in six Test series getting postponed, there remain considerable doubts on the fair allocation of points from those postponed contests.
There is also a concern around UK’s Covid situation, with the cases increasing on a daily basis.
As far as England’s 2021 home summer is concerned, the likes of Sri Lanka and Pakistan are scheduled to tour the isles for limited-over fixtures but currently, there have been no discussions regarding adding Test matches to the schedules.