With so many of this year’s sporting events being rescheduled owing to coronavirus, the year 2021 could be the most lavish in sporting history – possibly featuring an Olympics, a European Championships, a Lions Tour, a Ryder Cup and an Ashes series.
Olympics & Paralympics
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed to start on July 23 in 2021 and finish on August 8, with the Paralympics taking place from August 24 to September 5. Organisers have not yet made a decision about whether crowds will be allowed to attend.
The Athletics World Championships were originally scheduled for August 6-15 in Oregon. These have been postponed to July 15-24, 2022 in order to avoid a clash with the rearranged Olympics.
Club football (August 2020 to May 2021)
The 2020-21 domestic football season is under way. Next year’s Champions League and Europa League are also planned to go ahead without major changes. The Champions League final will be on May 29.
European Championships (June 11 to July 11)
Uefa has opted to delay the Euro 2020 until next summer, with the Europe-wide tournament now scheduled to take place between June 11 and July 11. The semi-finals and finals will still be played at Wembley.
Club rugby (September 2020 – June 2021)
Domestic and European rugby has restarted, with teams currently completing the 2019-20 season. This year’s Premiership final is on October 24. The 2020-21 Premiership season starts on the weekend of November 20-22, with the final set for June 26, just days before the start of the Lions Tour.
The 2020-21 Champions Cup will restart, at the quarter-final stage, on September 19. The final is scheduled for the weekend of October 16/17/18. The venue for that final has not been confirmed. The competition then restarts on December 11/12/13 (in an all-new format), with the final scheduled for May 21/22 in Marseilles. The final was originally planned for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but that venue will now host the 2022 final instead.
Six Nations (February 6 – March 20)
This year’s tournament will be completed on the weekends of October 24 and October 31. Next year’s Six Nations is set to go ahead as planned, between February 6 and March 20.
Lions Tour to South Africa (July 3 to August 7)
The Lions Tour of South Africa is scheduled for next summer, albeit in a condensed format involving eight games, only two of which are midweek fixtures, in just five weeks.
Autumn internationals (November-December)
Set to go ahead as normal, with the fixtures yet to be announced.
India vs England Test series (January/February)
England’s were due on a five-Test tour to India in late winter 2021. That may be reduced to three Tests, probably starting in late January, in order to fit in a one-day series, also against India, that had originally been scheduled for September and October 2020. The two-Test series in Sri Lanka, which was called off in March, may also be rearranged for early 2021.
Domestic cricket (April – September)
Next year’s county season ought to go ahead as normal. This year’s competition was shortened (the final will start on September 23, at Lord’s). The launch of the Hundred has been pushed back to summer 2021.
World Test Championship final (June 10-14)
The inaugural two-year edition of the World Test Championship reaches its climax next year with a final at Lord’s, set for mid June.
England vs India Test series (Summer 2021)
On top of a range of limited-overs tours and series next year (including South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), England’s big Test engagement is a return series against India. The dates are yet to be announced.
World T20 (October-November)
This year’s World T20 in Australia was cancelled. The next scheduled edition of the tournament is for India next autumn.
England head Down Under for the 2021-22 Ashes tour, starting in November.
Ryder Cup & Solheim Cup
The scramble to rearrange this year’s majors means that the 2020 Ryder Cup, which had been scheduled for September 25-28, has been put back to September 21-26, 2021 at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin. The 2021 Solheim Cup is set for August 31 to September 6.
Tennis, Formula One, cycling, etc
After the disruption caused this year, organisers of sports with established annual calendars are expected to revert back to normal dates for 2022.