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India to play tri-series in Dhaka

cricket Updated: Mar 23, 2008 20:01 IST

IANS
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Asian cricket administrators are juggling dates to accommodate a proposed ODI series involving Pakistan after Australia refused to tour that country for security reasons, the Asia Cup and the Indian Premier League (IPL). The only confirmed event is a tri-series in Dhaka, involving India.

After Australia declined to tour Pakistan in March-April and with the lucrative IPL starting April 18, officials from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which is to host a tri-series in June, are trying their best to accommodate one another's requirements.

At the moment only the triangular series in Dhaka is a certainty, according to Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

"India will play the tri-series in Dhaka with Bangladesh and Pakistan in June," Shah told IANS Sunday.

Shah, however, did not get give the dates.

The Dhaka triangular series will be held after the postponed Asia Cup, which is now scheduled to be staged June 24-July 6 in Pakistan.

In another development, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has accepted the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) invitation to play a One-Day International series after the islanders' tour of the West Indies. Unconfirmed reports say this series could be held between April 23 and May 5.

If this series does take on or around those dates, it could have an effect on the International Cricket Council (ICC)-backed IPL, in which billions of dollars are at stake. The Twenty20 IPL runs between April 18 and June 1.

So, PCB and SLC officials along with those of the BCCI, which owns the IPL, will have to take into account the multi-million-dollar league.

Shah was noncommittal when asked about the impact that the proposed Pakistan-Sri Lanka series could have on the IPL.

"I don't think so," he said of the proposed series.

When asked if the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series goes ahead and clashes with the IPL dates, will the Sri Lankans and Pakistanis play in league, he said: "I can't say anything now. It is up to the respective boards to allow or not allow their players for IPL."

In fact, no country is committing anything. PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf has accepted that a proposal for a tri-series in Dhaka is on the table.

"In the beginning of June, there is a potential tri-series with Bangladesh and India in Dhaka. Tentative dates for it are June 8-15, though it is not yet confirmed," Ashraf was quoted as saying by the Cricinfo website.

If the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series goes ahead between the speculated April 23-May 5 period or thereabouts, IPL may not have players from the two countries whom the Indian franchise owners have bought for millions of dollars.

The IPL, launched to counter the rebel Indian Cricket League, has the backing of all 10 Test-playing countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka.