Edgbaston will host England's first ever Test Match to start on a Wednesday, during next summer's series against South Africa.
England's summer 2008 schedule for the visit of New Zealand and South Africa was announced today with the Third Test against the Proteas in Birmingham beginning on July 30.
John Carr, director of England cricket, said: "One of the scheduling parameters we had to deal with was that the 2008 season has to end in early September to enable both England and South Africa the opportunity to travel to the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
"The 2008 season will include a Wednesday start as well as four Thursday starts and two Friday starts for npower Test matches. In a busy summer we feel that this sequence gives the players the maximum opportunity for rest and recuperation."
England will take on New Zealand in a three-Test series, with the first taking place at Lord’s between May 15 and 19.
They will then face the Black Caps in a Twenty20 match on June 13, with an additional five one-day matches.
A four-Test series against the Proteas begins in July and they will face them again in a one-off Twenty20 match and five more one-day games, with the last of those to be played on September 3 under lights at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
John Perera, the England and Wales Cricket Board commercial director added: "With the ever-increasing desire to shorten tours it means that the Wednesday start option had to be examined and we are grateful to npower and our broadcast partners - Sky Sports, BBC Radio and Five - for their approval. The ECB will be carefully monitoring the cricketing and commercial impact of a Wednesday start."
ENGLAND ITINERARY FOR SUMMER 2008
New Zealand, npower Test series
1st Test match - Lord’s May 15-19
2nd Test match - Old Trafford May 23-27
3rd Test match - Trent Bridge June 5-9
NatWest International Twenty20 - Old Trafford - June 13
NatWest ODI Series
1st ODI - Riverside June 15
2nd ODI - Edgbaston June 18
3rd ODI - Bristol June 21
4th ODI - Brit Oval June 25
5th ODI - Lord’s June 28
South Africa, npower Test series
1st Test match - Lord’s July 10-14
2nd Test match - Headingley July 18-22
3rd Test match - Edgbaston July 30-August 3
4th Test match - Oval August 7-11
NatWest International Twenty20 - Riverside August 20
1st ODI - Headingley (floodlit) - August 22
2nd ODI - Trent Bridge (floodlit) - August 26
3rd ODI - Brit Oval August 29
4th ODI - Lord’s August 31
5th ODI - Cardiff (floodlit) September 3