x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

England and India could play five Tests

England and India cricket officials are reportedly close to an agreement which could lead to the return of a five-Test series between the two teams.

LONDON // England and India cricket officials are reportedly close to an agreement which could lead to the return of a five-Test series between the two teams and even Indian Premier League matches being played at English venues. Reports in both countries say there is a closer relationship between the two cricket federations since England returned to India after the Mumbai terror attacks in November to play two Test matches.

The last two games in the one-day series between the two teams were abandoned after the attacks, which killed 164 people. England flew home but Kevin Pietersen's team returned, after stationing themselves in Abu Dhabi, just over a week later to play Tests in Chennai and Mohali, with India winning the series 1-0. According to the Guardian newspaper, England and India hope to announce a groundbreaking agreement after further talks later this month which could lead to changes at both Test and Twenty20 levels.

The newspaper said the agreement would lead to IPL matches being played in England, where there is a huge following of fans, and a five-Test series for the first time since England toured India in 1984-85. The England and Wales Cricket Board would also remove its restriction that English players are only available for two weeks of the IPL season, which runs during April and May. *AP