England to play Test cricket in Antigua once again

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The release of England’s 2015 Caribbean tour schedule has revealed that they will return to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, for the first time since their Test match there was abandoned after only 10 balls in 2009.

Antigua will host the first five-day match of a tour that includes three Test matches and two warm-up games.

Beginning on April 6 – a month after the World Cup final – there won’t be any limited-overs cricket played on the transatlantic trip.

Abandoned Test match

Excess sand in the outfield brought about a premature end to the second Test of the five-match series in 2008-9, which the West Indies won 1-0.

The culmination of the match after 1.4 overs made it the shortest Test match in history. Bowlers struggled to purchase any solid footholes in their run-ups, and the game was
called off.

As a result, an extra Test was scheduled for the end of the series, however, the statistics from those 10 balls were retained by those who played in the match.

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Antigua return

This will be the second time that the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium has hosted five-day cricket since that debacle. The ground was subsequently handed a 12-month suspension from staging internationals.

In July 2012, Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell both scored centuries in an opening stand of 254 as the West Indies defeated New Zealand by nine wickets.

England have already returned there three times themselves – each time to play One Day Internationals earlier this year.

Other Tests

After playing in Antigua from April 13, England then travel to play their maiden Test match on the island on Grenada, before the final game of the series starts on May 1 at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The West Indies Test series will be England’s next competition in the longer format of the game, following their current contest with India.

Busy schedule

Nevertheless, they have a busy calendar for 2015, which continues to fill up.  

A 50-over triangular series with Australia and India is set for January, as all three sides will warm-up for the World Cup, which begins in February. With the final not until March 29, England will conclude three months of limited-overs cricket with a return to Tests in the Caribbean in April.

Then they will return home for the English summer. Firstly they face a visit from New Zealand, before yet another home Ashes series with Australia.

Tours of Pakistan and South Africa have yet to have their respective itineraries confirmed, but are also due to happen at the back end of the year.

England’s tour of the West Indies:

April 6-7: Warm-up match, St Kitts

April 8-9: Warm-up match, St Kitts

April 13-17: First Test, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua

April 21-25: Second Test, Grenada National Stadium, Grenada

May 1-5: Third Test, Kensington Oval, Barbados

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