2021 sporting calendar: Euro 2020, Olympics and other big events to follow

After coronavirus played havoc with the 2020 sporting calendar, 2021 is rammed with big events to thrill and entertain.

Euro 2020, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, a Lions tour of South Africa, a Rugby League World Cup in England and cricket’s inaugural Hundred tournament are just some of the many highlights over the next 12 months.

The Euros start on 11 June and consist of 51 matches in 12 cities across Europe, with the highlight of the group stage coming on Friday, 18 June when England host Scotland at Wembley.

Wales, semi-finalists in 2016, have also qualified and are in the same group as former winners Italy.

The Wimbledon Championships make a welcome return on 28 June after being cancelled this year, with the men’s final being played on 11 July, the same day as the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

The following Sunday, Lewis Hamilton will seek to win a record-extending eighth British Formula 1 Grand Prix, golf’s 149th Open reaches its conclusion at Royal St George’s and Britain’s new cycling star Tao Geoghegan Hart will hope to be crowned Tour de France champion.

Just five days later Tokyo will stage the opening ceremony of the 32nd Olympic Games, where Great Britain’s athletes will seek to improve on the 67 medals – and 27 golds – they won at Rio 2016.

While the Olympics are in full swing, rugby union’s British and Irish Lions will stretch every sinew in their quest to beat world champions South Africa in a three-Test series for the first time since 1997.

The Paralympic Games get under way in Japan on 24 August with the British team seeking to build on their incredible success in Rio four years ago when they came home with 64 golds and 147 medals in total, as well as second place in the medal table.

And if that’s not enough sport for you, cricket fans are also in for a year of outstanding drama and some intriguing firsts.

After England return from a four-Test series in India, there’s the spills and thrills of the inaugural Hundred tournament, the first World Test Championship final at Lord’s, one-day and T20 matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan and finally a five-Test home series against India.

Then in the winter, Eoin Morgan’s men travel to India looking to add the World T20 title to their 50-over triumph of 2019 before Joe Root’s Test side start their bid to regain the Ashes down under.

Throw in two thrilling team golf events in the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup, the London Marathon and the Rugby League World Cup, and the non-stop sporting action continues throughout the autumn.

And that’s before you factor in surely one of the biggest moments of the year when British boxing rivals Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury hopefully take to the ring to decide who is the true heavyweight champion of the world. There’s just the small matter of agreeing terms first!

Big events in 2021

Dates and venues are subject to change, while some sports have yet to confirm fixtures for 2021. The BBC is not responsible for any changes to dates and fixtures that may be made.

8-11 April: Golf – Masters at Augusta National

10 April: Horse racing – Grand National at Aintree

17 April-3 May: Snooker – World Championship at the Crucible Theatre

25 April: Football – League Cup final at Wembley

10-23 May: Aquatics – European Championships in Budapest, Hungary
15 May: Football – FA Cup final at Wembley

16 May: Football – Women’s Champions League final in Gothenburg

22 May: Football – Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park

22 May: Football – Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley

22 May: Rugby Union – European Champions Cup final – venue TBC

23 May: Formula 1 – Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo

26 May: Football – Europa League final

29 May: Football – Champions League final

30 May-13 June: Tennis – French Open in Paris
11 June-11 July: Football – Euro 2020 in various countries (final at Wembley) – tournament guide

26 Jun-18 July: Cycling – Tour de France

28 June-11 July: Tennis – Wimbledon

29 June, 1 & 4 July: Cricket – England v Sri Lanka ODIs

8, 10 & 13 July: Cricket – England v Pakistan ODIs

13: Athletics – Diamond League: Anniversary Games at London Stadium
15-18 July: Golf – The Open at Royal St George’s

16, 18 & 20 July: Cricket – England v Pakistan T20s

17 July: Rugby League – Challenge Cup final at Wembley

18 July: Formula 1 – British Grand Prix at Silverstone

21 Jul-21Aug: Cricket – The Hundred

23 July-8 Aug: Olympic Games in Tokyo

24, 31 July & 7 Aug: Rugby Union – South Africa v British and Irish Lions Test series (tour TBC)

4 Aug-14 Sept: Cricket – England v India five Test series

19-22 August: Golf – Women’s British Open at Carnoustie

24 Aug-5 Sept: Paralympic Games in Tokyo

30 Aug-12 Sept: Tennis – US Open in New York

4-6 September: Golf – Solheim Cup in Toledo, Ohio

24-26 Sept: Golf – Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin

27 Sept-1 Oct: Cricket – Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s

3 October: Athletics – London Marathon

9 October: Rugby League – Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford

18 Oct-15 Nov: Cricket – Men’s T20 World Cup in India

23 Oct-27 Nov: Rugby League – World Cup in England (men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments) – England face Samoa in tournament opener

6, 13 & 20 November: Rugby Union – autumn internationals (TBC)

15-16 November: Football – World Cup qualifying final group games: San Marino v England; Northern Ireland v Italy; Scotland v Denmark (15th); Wales v Belgium (16th)

23 Nov-8 Jan: Cricket – Australia v England five-Test Ashes series

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