BCCI requests Australia for Tests
In its quest to maintain India's No.1 Test ranking the BCCI has sent a proposal to Cricket Australia to convert the seven-match ODI series in October to two Tests and three ODIs. India had climbed to the top spot in 2009, after drubbing Sri Lanka 2-0 at home, and then retained the ranking by fighting back to level the two-Test series against South Africa in February.
"We've got an open mind on it but it's being discussed and that could be the road down which we will go," a CA spokesman told the Australian on Tuesday.
This is not the first time the Indian board has intervened to change the original itinerary of a proposed tour. Earlier this year Cricket South Africa had agreed to a compressed tour of two Tests and three ODIs, replacing the original five-match ODI series. India's change of mind came in the wake of ascending to the No.1 Test ranking for the first time, and they were eager to preserve it.
According to the ICC's Future Tours Programme, India were scheduled to play only a handful of Tests in 2010, an aberration the BCCI is desperate to correct. So far this year, India have played four Tests but are lined up to play three in Sri Lanka in July, and then another three at home against New Zealand at the end of the year.
Asked if the BCCI had indeed formally requested the Australian board, N Srinivasan, the Indian board's secretary did not deny or confirm the news, saying he would be issuing a press release soon on the matter. CA were more forthright and positive about the development.
"One of the thoughts going through our heads is that we've got an Ashes series coming up and all we've got between now and then is two Tests against Pakistan in England during July," the spokesman said. Australia host England in November and are keen to avenge the 2009 Ashes defeat.
"Playing Tests in India in October may not be a bad idea because it gives us another chance to have another reasonably contemporary Test experience under the belt."