The ECB has revealed an action-packed and exciting schedule of international cricket for 2021, which will see India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan visit next summer and play at grounds across the country before England tour Pakistan for the first time in 16 years in the Autumn.

England women are scheduled to face both New Zealand and South Africa, while the visually impaired team are set to take on Australia in August.

The big news is of course that the initial plans are for fans to be back in stadiums for all the fixtures, so make sure you’re signed up as a First Class member so you can buy them with the Barmy Army.

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The announcement is just what we all needed on a chilly day in November and shows real positivity from the ECB as they look to bounce back from what has been a difficult year for everyone.

England’s schedule will begin with a visit from Sri Lanka, who will play three ODIs in late June and early July at the Riverside in Durham, the Oval, and the County Ground in Bristol.

Discussions are underway over a Test and T20 series against Dimuth Karunaratne’s side earlier in the summer but those fixtures will hinge on the ICC’s scheduling of the World Test Championship final, which is planned for next June, and whether England are one of the two sides to qualify that final.

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Later in July, Eoin Morgan’s men will take on Pakistan in a three-match ODI series – at Sophia Gardens, Lord’s and Edgbaston – and a three-match IT20 series – at Trent Bridge, Headingley, and Old Trafford.

The blockbuster event of the summer will see England host India in a five-match Test series in August and September, with matches to be played at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Headingley, the Oval, and Old Trafford.

Additionally, in a separate announcement the ECB has revealed that later in 2021, England will tour Pakistan for the first time in 16 years.

Morgan’s side will face Pakistan in three IT20s in October before both sides travel to the T20 World Cup in India.

The trip will be the Three Lions’ first to Pakistan since the 2005 tour, a welcome return to a fantastic cricketing country and tour destination.

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England women are scheduled to host South Africa in both IT20 and ODI series before welcoming New Zealand for series in both formats as well.

Plans are also in place for England’s visually impaired side to welcome Australia for a limited-overs series in August as they look to defend the Ashes having won Down Under.

Dates and venues for both the women’s and visually impaired series are yet to be announced.

As enjoyable as the summer of cricket was this year, it’s hard not to be very excited by the prospect of an action-packed year of cricket with fans hopefully back in the stadiums.

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That excitement appears to be shared by ECB CEO Tom Harrison, who noted: “Next year we’ve got another big international programme to look forward to, with the thrill of a five-Test series against India as the centrepiece, compelling white ball series for our men and women, and an Ashes Series for our Visually Impaired team.

“It’s an exciting prospect for England fans, and while Covid means there’s still a great deal of uncertainty, we really hope to be able to welcome fans back into the grounds safely next year to bring that unique atmosphere to stadia across the country.”

Chris Millard, the managing director of the Barmy Army, added: “With the positive news coming out of the government about the vaccine, I hope the announcement of the cricket calendar for next year has given all England cricket fans a glimmer of hope regarding the future.

“As you can expect, if possible, the Barmy Army will be at all England games next summer in full voice. The pent up demand for tickets will be huge and we are looking to grow as an organisation and build on the fantastic platform set in 2019.

“I for one certainly can’t wait!”

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Full dates for England’s men in 2021

England v Sri Lanka

Tuesday 29 June, 1st ODI, Emirates Riverside Durham

Thursday 1 July, 2nd ODI, Kia Oval

Sunday 4 July, 3rd ODI, Bristol County Ground

England v Pakistan

Thursday 8 July, 1st ODI, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

Saturday 10 July, 2nd ODI, Lord’s

Tuesday 13 July, 3rd ODI, Edgbaston

Friday 16 July, 1st IT20, Trent Bridge

Sunday 18 July, 2nd IT20, Emerald Headingley

Tuesday 20 July, 3rd IT20, Emirates Old Trafford

England v India

4-8 August, 1st Test Match, Trent Bridge

12-16 August, 2nd Test Match, Lord’s

25-29 August, 3rd Test Match, Emerald Headingley

2-6 Sept, 4th Test Match, Kia Oval

10-14 Sept, 5th Test Match, Emirates Old Trafford

Excited to get involved? Make sure you’re a member so you can buy tickets with the Barmy Army!