England start 2020 season with Windies Test at The Oval

England start 2020 season with Windies Test at The Oval

England's Jos Buttler (L) bats in the nets during a practice session at Headingley Stadium in Leeds, northern England. (AFP Photo)

England will take a break from tradition by staging the opening Test of their 2020 home season at the Oval.

The England and Wales Cricket Board releases the international fixtures for next season on Wednesday, with a packed program featuring visits by the West Indies, Australia, Pakistan, and Ireland.

The Oval, the south London headquarters of Surrey, usually hosts the last Test of an English season but in 2020 it will launch the program instead.

After the Oval, England will face the West Indies in Tests at Edgbaston and Lord's.

England will also play three Tests against Pakistan, at Lord's, Old Trafford and Trent Bridge.

Both the West Indies and Pakistan series will count towards the World Test Championship table.

In one-day cricket, World Cup-winners England will face Australia and Ireland in a three-match series, with the last game against the latter ending the England calendar at the Oval on September 15.

Meanwhile, England's preparations for next year's Twenty20 World Cup will continue with six short-form matches split between Australia and Pakistan.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, announcing the schedule, said: "The ICC World Test Championship will add significance and context to the Test series against West Indies and Pakistan.

"England's ODI contests against Australia and Ireland will see the world champions return to home soil with big crowds expected at all venues.

"With a further interest in IT20 cricket, the six-matches against Australia and the world number one side Pakistan will offer a fascinating guide to form ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia during the autumn of 2020."