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Next India-Australia series before 2010

The boards of the two countries are negotiating to work out a Test series in India "much earlier" than scheduled in 2010.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON NOV 05, 2004 05:54 PM IST

Cricket Australia (CA) and the BCCI have started the groundwork to ensure the next Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India is held "much earlier" than scheduled in 2010.

"We are having discussions but I can say we will be here much earlier than 2010," CA Chairman Bob Merriman told PTI here last night.

According to ICC' ten-year programme, Australia are scheduled to visit India only in 2010 but Merriman said the plan should not come in the way as it was just a "draft".

"ICC's programme is just a draft. The two cricket Boards can work out something different," Merriman said on the sidelines of a press conference to announce the inaugural winner of the newly introduced Border-Gavaskar Masters Scholarship.

Significantly, neither the CA nor BCCI have signed the ICC's ten-year programme as yet.

The scholarship, given to a person from any walk of life, is to be awarded whenever a Test series between the two countries takes place.

The first recipient of this scholarship is Mumbai-based Dr Sonali Sapkale who will begin studying for her Master of Public Health Postgraduate degree at the Griffith University in Queensland in February 2005.

The two cricket legends - Gavaskar and Border - who had both captained their respective countries in Test cricket, were present to confer the scholarship at the function held at Cricket Club of India.

The scholarship is to the tune of Rs 12 lakh.

After receiving the award, Sapkale said she intended to return to India and put into practice what she would learn during her stint in Australia.

Gavaskar, during his interaction with the media, highlighted the fact that university cricket had declined in India as compared to when he was himself a university cricketer.

"Yes, I agree that university cricket has declined from say the late 1970s or mid 1980s. During my days, players from schools and other junior level tournaments reached the highest level of the game by performing very well in the inter-university tournaments. Now things have changed," he said.

Australian coach John Buchanan, who is an Associate Professor of Cricket at the University, was the master of ceremony at the function.

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