Tuesday, March 25, 2008

England to play only two Tests in India

A scheduling crunch means India will host England for only two Tests later this year...

India are blaming the Future Tours Program (FTP) for snipping one Test off England's visit in November-December later this year. England were originally scheduled to play three Tests and seven one-day internationals.

Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, told Cricinfo the board had no other option but to reduce one Test from the England series to accommodate various commitments the team needs to oblige under the FTP. "What can we do?" Shah asked. "Because of the FTP we need to squeeze other events too."

BCCI's main grouse is with the ICC Champions Trophy that is slated for September, without which the board would not have had to trim the itinerary for England's visit. After the Champions Trophy, India play a four-Test series against Australia at home in October before England arrive.

Although ECB are still believed to be in negotiations with BCCI, it is nevertheless expected the latest proposal will go ahead, since England want the tour to be over before Christmas. "The England players want to return home for Christmas and the second Test is scheduled to finish on December 23", Shah pointed out.

Meanwhile, India will tour Bangladesh in June for a one-day tri-series also featuring Pakistan, N Srinivasan, the BCCI treasurer, confirmed. The team will then head for Asia Cup in Pakistan before flying out to Sri Lanka in mid-July for three Tests and five one-day internationals.

England in India 2008-09