More spectators will be allowed to attend England’s ODI games with Sri Lanka

England’s one-day international series against Sri Lanka will take place in front of larger than expected crowds after being named as a Government test event.

Precise details on numbers have yet to be disclosed but next week’s games at Durham, the Kia Oval and Bristol will not be subject to the current strict limits for outdoor events.

England have already played in one such pilot event, with over 17,000 daily fans allowed in for the Edgbaston Test against New Zealand.

The subsequent white-ball series against Pakistan is also due to be part of the Government’s ‘events research programme’, but work on the Sri Lanka fixtures is taking precedence.

None of the three Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka, which take place this week, will feature expanded crowds, with the two Cardiff-based matches subject to the devolved Welsh Government and the final match at the Ageas Bowl not included in the trial.

Announcing the news, culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Summer is all about cricket and I’m delighted to be able to include England’s upcoming ODI and IT20 series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in our pioneering events research programme.

With thanks to our tremendous vaccine rollout and massive uptake of the NHS App we will be able to welcome back far greater numbers of cricket fans to Durham, Bristol and The Oval.

“We will continue to do everything we can to get as many as possible back watching live sport and cultural events as safely and as quickly as possible.”