The coronavirus pandemic saw cricket put on hold along with all other sports across the globe, resulting in the English summer being delayed as all forms of the game were either postponed or cancelled.
But the ECB optimistically identified the series against the West Indies as the ideal return for the sport, and those hopes will materialise on Wednesday at the Ageas Bowl as the first Test of the summer finally gets underway.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
England will be without captain Joe Root as he misses out due to paternity leave, meaning Ben Stokes will captain the Test side for the first time in what is a familiar England squad.
However, it appears that there will be no Stuart Broad in the side, with the veteran bowler left out as Mark Wood is expected to be preferred in the attack.
Here’s everything you need to know for the first Test.
When is the first Test?
The first Test between England and the West Indies takes place on 8-12 July.
What time does it start?
Play gets underway each day at 11am, although the weather this week could play havoc with the session times.
How can I watch it?
Live coverage will be shown on Sky Sports Cricket (Sky: 405, Virgin: 504) and Sky Sports Main Event (Sky: 401, Virgin; 501).
Highlights will be shown on BBC Two from 7pm to 8pm on days one to four, with the day five highlights starting at the later time of 7:30pm.
Can I watch it online?
Live coverage will be available each day on the Sky Go app, with a Sky Sports subscription required. Highlights will be available on the BBC Sport website and app.
If you’re not a Sky customer you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.
We may earn commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow this to influence our content.