India open to travel to Sri Lanka for limited-overs series, says BCCI

This was in response to Sri Lankan board’s (SLC) letter to BCCI, offering to host India in a closed door six match tour (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is) in July end, if they were ready to follow quarantine rules.
Rajkot: Indian bowler Kuldeep Yadav, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul celebrates the wicket of Australian batsman Alex Carey during the second one day international (ODI) cricket match between India and Australia at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.(PTI)
Rajkot: Indian bowler Kuldeep Yadav, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul celebrates the wicket of Australian batsman Alex Carey during the second one day international (ODI) cricket match between India and Australia at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.(PTI)
Updated on May 16, 2020 09:05 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By Rasesh Mandani

The Indian cricket board - BCCI says it is open to tour Sri Lanka in July for a six-match limited over series, if the government allows them to. “It all depends on government directives pertaining to lockdown relaxations and travel restrictions. We are open to travel if it doesn’t compromise safety and health of our boys,” treasurer Arun Dhumal said.

This was in response to Sri Lankan board’s (SLC) letter to BCCI, offering to host India in a closed door six match tour (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is) in July end, if they were ready to follow quarantine rules.

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Does that raise hopes of Virat Kohli-led India, returning to cricket pitch with the Sri Lankan tour. That’s a long shot. Indian players have been confined home, after imposition of nationwide lockdown from March 25. A majority of the players, living in metro cities have been limited to fitness drills, with no space even to run. The Indian board is still waiting for government directives, before they can organize an outdoor skills camp for the players. Besides international travel hasn’t resumed.

SLC currently has no media rights holders and is looking to attract broadcasters, through India tour, by far the most attractive.

“If the BCCI is saying they are ready to tour, that’s just smokescreen. They are telling Sri Lanka, we are willing to honour bilateral commitments,” a source tracking developments says.

Given the timelines, it appears unlikely that the series can be pulled off, at such a short notice.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021