India will be playing three Tests, eleven One-Day Internationals and nine Twenty20 Internationals between September and December as they host Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. However, the schedule remains to be finalized as numerous internal and external factors need sorting out.
The festive season couldn’t get any better for the cricket fans in the country as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Tours and Fixtures committee has just revealed a frantic list of 23 international games that the Men in Blue will play between September and December.
India will host Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka respectively where they play 3 Tests, 11 One-Day Internationals and 9 Twenty20 Internationals, before flying off to South Africa.
The gala plan starts with Team Australia visiting India for five ODIs and three T20Is between September 17 to October 11. While the ODIs are scheduled to take place in Chennai, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Indore, and Kolkata, the T20Is should be held in Hyderabad, Ranchi, and Guwahati.
However, Austraila's current pay dispute has been a source of uncertainty over the last one month and would certainly need resolving before they visit. Reportedly, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland and Australian Cricketers' Association chief Alistair Nicholson were expected to declare a new deal to resolve the issue that has left around 230 players unemployed, but nothing has been made yet keeping their upcoming tour of Bangladesh hanging by a thread.
While this remains an external issue, BCCI is to deal with the internal factors that crop up during the festive seasons. BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in a meeting in Kolkata, “The dates of the matches have deliberately not been frozen today because the logistics must factor in local factors such as festivals because, as you know, Durga Puja being what it is in the whole of eastern India and not only in West Bengal and other public holidays and logistics of distance."
New Zealand soon follows for three ODIs and T20Is between October 22 to November 7. While the one-days are scheduled in Pune, Mumbai, and Kanpur, the T20s will take place Delhi, Cuttack, and Rajkot. Sri Lanka has preponed their India tour following the schedule of Independence Cup in March that also features South Africa and Pakistan.
Choudhary said, “It needed to be tweaked as Sri Lanka is organising an Independence Cup. And, that will be shortly after India's return from South Africa. Now, Sri Lanka has always co-operated with India and therefore India will actually be making a reciprocal short-version tour only to play the Independence Cup.”
“There is another reason… There was six proposed exchange of tours between India and Pakistan which did not happen. So those spaces had to be adjusted with other activities,” he added.
However, amidst all the grand plans the proposed boxing day match between India and South Africa remains a distant possibility now.
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