India to hit a ‘ ton’


The busy Indian cricket team will hit a cool ‘ century’ on a different pitch. As of now, it will play at least 101 Tests, One- day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals at home in the next six years.

Mail Today has accessed a document, according to which seven countries are scheduled to visit India between 2012 and 2018. The Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI) has given this assurance to broadcaster STAR India Limited while allotting media rights to it for ` 3,851 crore ($ 757.6 million).

All these matches are part of the bilateral series against various countries, and do not include the ODI tournaments that may be added later to India’s home schedule. The six- year media rights were awarded in two segments: two years ( 2012- 14) and four years ( 2014- 18).

The BCCI had, actually, given to STAR an undertaking of hosting at least 96 matches, to be played against six countries — Australia, England, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies. Pakistan was added later to the list, after the national governments of the two countries recently agreed to give the green signal to restore bilateral cricket series after five years.

Pakistan will now tour India to play three ODIs and two T20 Internationals in December- January, taking India’s home matches to 101. BCCI sources say that more matches against Pakistan would be added in the period for which the media rights have been sold.

“ When the BCCI allotted the media rights to STAR in April, the government approval for bilateral series against Pakistan had not come. It came only on October 30.

So, more home matches against Pakistan would surely be included, provided the political scenario remains conducive,” a top source told M AIL T ODAY . However, the BCCI has again, sadly, ignored Bangladesh’s request to play their first Test series in India. Previous BCCI dispensations had done the same.

For the record, Bangladesh have played 73 Tests against all countries, and only seven of them have been against India — all on their home turf — since getting Test status in 1999.

During the Asia Cup in March in Dhaka, the then Bangladesh Cricket Board president Mustafa Kamal had hoped that BCCI president N Srinivasan would slot a Test series in India soon. “ Srinivasan has assured that he would confirm the probable dates very soon. I’m very positive that a tour will be taking place,” he had told MAIL TODAY . It remains to be seen if Bangladesh would get to tour India during STAR’s contract period.

Of the seven countries that will visit India in the next six years, Australia will be the most frequent visitor. They will tour India four times while New Zealand, England and Sri Lanka will each visit twice. South Africa and the West Indies are schedule to tour only once each.

Australia currently placed third in ICC Test rankings, will play eight Test matches, 14 ODIs and three T20 Internationals. The first of the four tours will take place in February- March next year, when they play Test matches in Delhi, Mohali, Kanpur, and Chennai.

Australia will be here again in October next year to play seven ODIs and a one T20 International, as per the now- established norm of splitting Test and ODI/ T20 series.

Their next India visit will be in February- March 2017, when they play four Tests. In October that year, they will be here again to play seven ODIs and two T20s. In between India would also be travelling Down Under.

The number of times a country visits India reflect two things quite distinctly: the relations between the BCCI and the Board of that country, and the demands that a broadcaster makes.

BCCI had given an assurance of 96 games to STAR India Ltd. while alloting the broadcasting rights to the company. Later, matches against Pakistan were added to it.

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