England have repaid a debt of gratitude to the West Indies by agreeing to a lucrative expansion of their touring commitments next year.
The respective boards have added a third Test to the proposed two-match series and upped the originally scheduled three-match Twenty20 rubber by a further two fixtures.
The West Indies were instrumental in rousing international cricket from its fixture shutdown last summer, with the men's squad travelling to England at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak for a world-first 'bio-secure' series and the women's team later following suit.
That helped the England and Wales Cricket Board avert crippling financial losses as it staged a full men's international schedule and a dialogue was quickly opened around how the goodwill might be turned into something more tangible.
Cricket West Indies estimate that each Test match is worth over £18million to a host island, with T20s valued at almost £3m, meaning England's tour could now bring almost £25m more to the region as a result of these changes. Much of that would be contingent on travel restrictions being lifted by then but, even without the notorious spending power of England's travelling supporters, broadcast income would be expected to spike.
The trip will be split in two with the T20s taking place between January 28 and February 5 and the Test leg coming in March. It is understood the T20s will not clash directly with England's Ashes series, which does not yet have official dates, though if quarantine arrangements remain in place it may prove logistically difficult for players to be involved in both.
Announcing the news, ECB chair Ian Watmore said: "We hugely appreciated the support of Cricket West Indies, and all its men's and women's players, in helping us host a full season of international cricket in the summer of 2020. Following the conclusion of those tours to England we have been in discussions with CWI to understand how we can best support them moving forward and one way was to extend our existing England men's tours to the Caribbean in 2022."
CWI President Ricky Skerritt, added: "This expansion of next year's England tour to the Caribbean is welcome news for West Indies Cricket and for the region's tourism economy. It has come about because of the special relationship that has been developed between our respective boards."