The Oval
The Oval will host England v Sri Lanka on 1 July

A number of England’s international matches with Sri Lanka and Pakistan in June and July will be played with increased ground capacities.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced selected fixtures will be part of the UK government’s events research programme (ERP).

Initially, the ERP focus will be on England’s one-day matches against Sri Lanka at Durham, The Oval and Bristol.

It is understood stadiums could be up to 50% full for the fixtures.

Crowds at matches in England have been set at a maximum of 25% or 10,000, whichever is smaller, since 17 May.

England’s Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on 23 and 24 June, and at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on 26 June, will not be included in the ERP.

Details on arrangements for the Pakistan series, which starts with a one-day match in Cardiff on 8 July, will follow after further discussions between the ECB, UK government and local stakeholders.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Summer is all about cricket and I’m delighted to be able to include England’s upcoming ODI and T20 series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in our pioneering ERP.

“With thanks to our tremendous vaccine rollout and massive uptake of the NHS App we will be able to welcome back far greater numbers of cricket fans to Durham, Bristol and The Oval.

“We will continue to do everything we can to get as many as possible back watching live sport and cultural events as safely and as quickly as possible.”


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