English international and domestic cricket will be shown live on BBC TV for the first time in 21 years from 2020.

In a five-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), more than 100 hours of cricket will be broadcast each summer.

The contract includes live TV coverage of England men and women’s Twenty20 internationals and the ECB’s new men’s domestic T20 tournament.

TV highlights of England men’s home Tests, one-day internationals and T20s will also be shown.

The BBC, which this year celebrates Test Match Special’s 60th birthday, also retained radio rights and digital clips for English cricket.

Digital clips mean in-play video action clips and short-form highlights on the BBC Sport website and app for all England internationals and domestic games.

The BBC last broadcast live televised cricket in 1999 and the sport has not been available on free-to-air TV since the 2005 Ashes series, shown on Channel 4.

“It’s long been our ambition to bring live cricket back to BBC television,” said BBC director general Tony Hall. “I’m thrilled to see that ambition realised.

“Cricket is an integral part of the British summer and the BBC will be putting its full weight behind the nation’s favourite summer sport.

“Our aim will be to make the new T20 competition a huge success.”

Each summer from 2020 to 2024, the BBC will broadcast live TV coverage of:

  • Two England men’s home T20s
  • One England women’s home T20s
  • 10 men’s matches from the ECB’s new domestic city-based T20 competition
  • Up to eight matches from the women’s domestic T20 tournament, including both finals

The BBC will also show:

  • Highlights of England men’s home Tests, ODIs and T20s
  • Highlights of England women’s home internationals
  • Digital clips of men and women’s internationals, plus County Championship, One-Day Cup and T20 matches

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “This will lead to a step change in the BBC’s coverage of cricket across TV, radio and digital platforms.

“We are extremely excited about what we have to offer by taking cricket to the widest possible audience and inspiring the next generation to pick up bat and ball.

“With 97% of the UK population using the BBC every week, the potential for growing the game further is huge.”

Source: BBC Sport

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