The ECB have announced the dates and venues for the two Natwest Twenty20 Internationals next summer against New Zealand and South Africa.
England's first ever Twenty20 encounter against the Blackcaps will take place at Old Trafford on Friday, June 13th 2008.
South Africa meanwhile will face England in the second Natwest Twenty20 International at the Riverside ground, Durham, on Wednesday, August 20th 2007.
The 2008 Summer programme includes for the first time a Wednesday start for an npower Test match
The third npower Test against South Africa at Edgbaston will start on Wednesday July 30, 2008.
John Carr, Director of England Cricket. ‘One of the scheduling parameters we had to deal with was that the 2008 season has to end in early September to enable both England and South Africa the opportunity to travel to the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
‘The 2008 season will include a Wednesday start as well as four Thursday starts and two Friday starts for npower Test matches. In a busy summer we feel that this sequence gives the players the maximum opportunity for rest and recuperation.’
John Perera, the ECB Commercial director added: ‘With the ever increasing desire to shorten tours it means that the Wednesday start option had to be examined and we are grateful to npower and our broadcast partners – Sky Sports, BBC Radio and Five – for their approval. The ECB will be carefully monitoring the cricketing and commercial impact of a Wednesday start.’
The New Zealand international series consists of three npower Test matches, one NatWest International Twenty20 and five NatWest One Day Internationals.
The South Africa international series involves four npower Test matches, one NatWest International Twenty20 and five NatWest One Day Internationals.