Lucknow is set to be named a Test match venue after nearly 28 years when New Zealand tour India after the T20 World Cup. After the home series against New Zealand, India also have a tour of South Africa lined up in their schedule. The five-day match is also set to be the first Test match at the new Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium after the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) opened it for first-class cricket in 2016.
To date, the match against Sri Lanka at the KD Singh Babu Stadium in January 1994 remains the only Test match that the capital of Uttar Pradesh has hosted. A report carried by TOI claims that the BCCI has already finalised the venues for both the Test matches with the other Test set to be played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Lucknow also likely to get IPL franchise from 2022
As per sources cited in the same TOI report, the board feels that Lucknow could be a major cricketing centre with the city also believed to be favourites to get an IPL franchise besides Ahmedabad with BCCI adding two more teams to the T20 tournament from next year.
"The stadium has good facilities and a capacity of nearly 70,000. That’s a good deal for any IPL franchise. Like Ahmedabad, it’s important to give Lucknow exposure to marquee international matches before the IPL teams are finalized. Lucknow was also shortlisted as a venue for the T20 World Cup had it happened in India," a senior BCCI official told TOI.
India to host Sri Lanka after tour of South Africa
Meanwhile, it is being learned that the Test series is likely to be preceded by the three-match T20I series which will commence in the last week of November.
There is likely to be a 10-days interval between the home assignment against New Zealand and the first Test match of the tour of South Africa in Johannesburg in the third week of December. The Board is planning a bubble to bubble transfer which eliminates the need for mandatory quarantine.
Post the South Africa tour, India will welcome Sri Lanka for a two-Test series and three-match T20I series in February-March. For now, Mumbai seems to be the first choice to host this Test match, however, the board is yet to formally announce the entire domestic season.