Tour negotiations January 5, 2009

'India-Sri Lanka series currently only speculation' - BCCI

Cricinfo staff

An Indian one-day series against Sri Lanka is still in the realm of speculation, the BCCI has said, and will be considered only after the board receives a response from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on its request for adding an extra Test to the original two-Test tour schedule.

Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, told Cricinfo the Indian board is yet to exchange any official written communication with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in this regard. "What is official so far is that we have requested New Zealand to accommodate an extra Test to the series in March," Shetty said. "We are waiting for a response from their side."

Asked about the one-day series against Sri Lanka, he said, "We will move on any such series only after the New Zealand schedule is confirmed. We expect a positive response from New Zealand but they are the home board and will have to consider the logistics at their end."

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) are hoping to take a decision by this weekend over India's request. A spokesperson for NZC confirmed to PTI, via e-mail, that the proposal had been received and was under consideration.

"NZC has received a request from BCCI for an additional Test. NZC is currently considering the request and investigating the feasibility of extending the tour. No decision has been made yet. It is hoped that a decision will be reached before the end of this week", the e-mail reply read.

Andy Moles, the new New Zealand coach, has already welcomed the opportunity to play another Test against India, "time willing". New Zealand are currently hosting West Indies and their international schedule is packed till February 13, when they complete a one-day series in Australia.

The BCCI had asked NZC to accommodate an extra Test for the series starting on March 6 - two Tests, five ODIs, one Twenty20 - after the Indian government refused to clear the Indian team's tour to Pakistan this month. Sri Lanka subsequently agreed to tour Pakistan during the same period but last week, Gamini Lokuge, Sri Lanka's sports minister, said that SLC officials were also in talks with their Indian counterparts to arrange a one-day series. Shetty admitted there "may have been some verbal communication" between certain Indian and Sri Lankan officials on a one-day series but insisted that nothing concrete has emerged.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had proposed splitting the team's Pakistan tour into two legs, with plans of host India in the gap between the two. However, the PCB said no such arrangement had been decided yet. "There is no doubt they are coming," Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan board chairman, told PTI. "Breaking the tour into two halves is not final as yet and the Sri Lankans have to send us an approved itinerary."

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