Sky’s commitment towards the Hundred during an iconic series against a premier Test nation like India highlights their belief in the format.

England v West Indies - 1st Royal London One Day International
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Owing to their commentary commitments at the Hundred, key commentators including Nasser Hussain, Rob Key and Ebony Rainford-Brent will miss taking part in the first two Tests of India and England’s five-match Test series, starting at Trent Bridge on August 4 (Wednesday). Notably, many renowned commentators have been involved in the inaugural edition of the hundred-ball tournament, which will run until August 21.

However, with Sky Sports signaling their intention to fulfil their professional commitment towards the new tournament, it is certain that the above names will be missing the first two encounters of the Pataudi Trophy. Meanwhile, for that series, the likes of Mike Atherton, Michael Holding, Ian Ward will be in action, alongside guest appearances from Andrew Strauss and Dinesh Karthik.

Sky’s commitment towards the Hundred during an iconic series against a premier Test nation like India highlights their belief in the format, which the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has already prioritized over aplenty.

England-India series kickstarts WTC second cycle

The inaugural cycle of the World Test Championship concluded on June 23 in Southampton as New Zealand claimed the titular fixture against India. The upcoming five-match series is earmarked to initiate the second cycle of the ICC Test Championship, which will witness a few changes from the previous one.

In the second cycle, each team plays a total of six series – three home and as many away. Only the Ashes and the upcoming England-India series are five-match affairs, with all other tie-ups being either two or three-match series; the only exception being India and Australia’s series that will have four matches.

The most notable change is in the points system, as each win will award a team 12 points, a tie six points, draw four and a loss zero, in comparison to the previous structure where 120 points were assigned to each series. Further, the ICC has introduced a negative-marking rule that will see a team lose a point for slow-over rate, which will be deducted for every over that the team falls behind.

India, who will play the second-most (19) Tests in the cycle, have their three away series in England (five matches), South Africa (three), Bangladesh (two), while their home fixtures are against New Zealand (two), Sri Lanka (three) and Australia (four). On the other hand, England, set to play the most (22) Tests, will face Australia (five), West Indies and Pakistan (three each) away, while they have India (five), Sri Lanka (three) and Australia (four) at home.


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