The prospect of a long phase of emptiness is staring in the face of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). That is, however, in hypothetical sense – what if the pay dispute in Australia does not get resolved, what if the government of India does not permit a series against Pakistan and what if no country is comes in as a replacement and what if…
This hypothetical vacuum could be looming over Indian cricket from September (after India return from Sri Lanka) to January (when India set to travel to South Africa) but the reality, however, is different. The BCCI has lined up Sri Lanka and New Zealand for November and December and is confident the seven-match home ODI series against Australia will take place as scheduled in October.
It is understood both Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have agreed to visit India this winter and the sources from the both boards say the matches will be bilateral. An SLC spokesman has told this paper that the Lankans will be visiting India and the itinerary is a work in progress. The series is expected to have both Tests and ODIs.
It will be a return series between the teams as India are scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 International in the island nation between late July and early September.
The NZC officials have refused to provide a statement on the planned year-end tour but the BCCI is planning a short series with the Kiwis. It is likely there will be more limited overs games than Test matches. The schedule has not yet been finalised.
As for Australia, there is no immediate concern in the ranks of the BCCI. It is said that the pay dispute Down Under is expected to be resolved before October. Actually, the BCCI hopes even the tri-nation A series involving in India, South Africa and Australian teams will go ahead as scheduled in July-August.
As about the series against South Africa early next year, the schedule, as of now, remains to be four Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals. But you never know if there will be a twist at the last minute.