India names new Test venues for home season

NEW DELHI: India named six new Test venues on Thursday as they prepare to host New Zealand, England and then top-ranked Australia in an exhaustive home season starting in October.

India will kick start the season against New Zealand with three Tests and five one-day internationals, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said.

England then arrive for five Tests and six limited-overs matches, while the Australia series is scheduled for February and March next year.

Bangladesh will also play a one-off Test during the season, their first such outing in India since they gained Test status in 2000.

The cities of Rajkot, Visakhapatnam, Pune, Dharamsala, Ranchi and Indore will host Test matches for the first time, the BCCI said after a meeting in Mumbai.

“I welcome the new Test venues… their arrival will take Test match cricket to every corner of the country,” BCCI president Anurag Thakur said in a statement.

India will play 13 Tests in total during the season, the most since the 1979-80 home season, along with eight ODIs and three T20 internationals.

The BCCI also said the domestic Duleep Trophy tournament in September will be played under lights and with a pink ball for the first time in the country.

Australia and New Zealand played the inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide last year, attracting huge crowds.-AFP