England will play 20 of their 43 Tests from next summer against Australia or India


REVEALED: Twenty of England’s 43 Tests from next summer will be against Australia or India – but only three are against World Test Championship leaders South Africa

  • England will play almost half their tests against arch-rivals Australia and India
  • The ‘Big Three’ cricketing nations look set once again to dominate the schedule 
  • England will not play either Afghanistan or Zimbabwe and face Bangladesh once
  • In total from summer 2023-February 2027 England will play 43 Test matches 

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Twenty of England’s 43 Tests between next summer and early 2027 will be against Australia and India – but only three against South Africa, the current leaders of the World Test Championship.

With Australia and India also scheduled to play a pair of five-match series against each other, the new calendar released by the ICC will do nothing to quell fears that the so-called ‘Big Three’ are dominating the Test fixture list to the detriment of everyone else.

South Africa, for example, will play only 28 Tests in the same period, with 22 of those coming in 11 two-match series. 

England will play 43 Tests from summer 2023-February 2027 with 20 against India and Australia

England will play 43 Tests from summer 2023-February 2027 with 20 against India and Australia

Meanwhile, all but four of world Test champions New Zealand’s 15 series will comprise only one or two games.

England’s next-most regular opponents will be New Zealand and Pakistan, with six Tests each. 

They will play both West Indies and South Africa three times only, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh twice, and Ireland once.

Kane Williamson's New Zealand host England in November 2024 before visiting in June 2026

Kane Williamson's New Zealand host England in November 2024 before visiting in June 2026

Kane Williamson’s New Zealand host England in November 2024 before visiting in June 2026

Afghanistan and Zimbabwe – who have not met England in a Test since 2003 – are ignored altogether. 

And there will be little international cricket in August, which has been ring-fenced for the Hundred.

A busy white-ball schedule in both formats is set to include a tri-series in 2026-27 with hosts Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan and Zimbabwe have been overlooked with the latter's 19-year wait set to continue

Afghanistan and Zimbabwe have been overlooked with the latter's 19-year wait set to continue

Afghanistan and Zimbabwe have been overlooked with the latter’s 19-year wait set to continue

England Test opponents from summer 2023-2027

June 2023 – One Test against Ireland (home)

June – August 2023 – Five-Test series against Australia (home) 

January 2024 – Five-Test series against India (away)

July 2024 – Three-Test series against West Indies (home)

August 2024 – Two-Test series against Sri Lanka (home) 

October 2024 – Three-Test series against Pakistan (away)

November 2024 – Three-Test series against New Zealand (away)

June 2025 – Five-Test series against India (home)

November 2025January 2026 – Five-Test series against Australia (away)

June 2026 – Three-Test series against New Zealand (home)

August – September 2026 – Three-Test series against Pakistan (home)

December 2026 – Three-Test series against Sri Lanka (away) 

February 2027 – Two-Test series against Bangladesh (away)  

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