Cricket: India to play five Tests in England; their first such series since 1959

LONDON (AFP) - India will play five Tests in England for the first time since 1959 during next year's tour, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Monday.

The tour schedule also sees 50-over world champions India, who beat England by five runs in the Champions Trophy final at Edgbaston in June, involved in five one-day internationals and a one-day international.

"This will be the first time England has hosted India in a five Test series in more than 50 years and the length of the series reflects the iconic status which contests between these two great cricketing nations now enjoy," said ECB chief executive David Collier in a statement issued Monday.

Three of the five Tests will be played at southern venues, Lord's and The Oval in London plus Southampton's Rose Bowl although, as the latter is a relatively new international ground, the Test there is still subject to confirmation following an ECB inspection visit.

Nottingham's Trent Bridge in the English Midlands will stage the first Test with the fourth at Manchester's Old Trafford in the north of the country.