England confirm two-Test tour of Sri Lanka to take place next month after coronavirus delay


England will play two Test matches behind closed doors in Sri Lanka next month at the Galle International Cricket Stadium, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.

The ECB and Sri Lanka Cricket have agreed to biosecurity measures with travel plans for the rearranged tour to take place in January, following its postponement from March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Measures have also been put in place in order to avoid a repeat of this week’s abandonment of the South Africa tour.

Players will isolate for three days on arrival in Sri Lanka and will be tested for coronavirus every two days throughout the tour.

READ MORE: England tour of South Africa abandoned

The first Test will take place on 14-18 January, with the second Test on 22-26 January.

The travelling party will depart on 2 January and will be subject to quarantine in Hambantota. In this period, the team will be allowed to train and prepare for five days from 5 January at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.

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Opener Rory Burns has suggested he may miss part of the tour in order to attend the birth of his first child, but Jonny Bairstow will return to the squad after retracting his contract with Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League to make himself available for England.

The two-match Test series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship. This will be England’s penultimate series in the inaugural tournament, with the aim of ending their campaign in India in February.

2021 will be England’s busiest year ever, with tours in Sri Lanka, twice in India, England, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Australia. While the vaccine will hopefully provide some security, there is still a chance that bubbles will have to remain in place when they play.

England Tour of Sri Lanka – January 2021

Saturday 2 January: Touring party departs from London to Hambantota

Tuesday 5-9 January: Training and preparation at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

Thursday 14-18 January: First Test match – Sri Lanka v England, Galle International Cricket Stadium, Galle

Friday 22-26 January: Second Test match – Sri Lanka v England, Galle International Cricket Stadium, Galle

Wednesday 27 January: Touring party departs Sri Lanka

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