India news July 10, 2014

BCCI seeks to limit India's bilateral T20s


The BCCI is yet to officially approve India's Future Tours Programme for the coming cycle, from 2014 to 2023, due to an issue over the number of T20s scheduled in bilateral series. The board is reluctant to play more than one T20 in a bilateral series.

They had signed MoUs with all other boards over the number of bilateral series to be played over the next years on the sidelines of the ICC's annual conference in Melbourne, but the number of matches, especially T20s, for each series is far from being final.

India are supposed to play 47 T20s during the next FTP cycle, starting with the tour to Australia in December 2014 and culminating with New Zealand's tour to India in January 2023. These 47 matches, excluding the ones during the World T20, are spread over 29 bilateral series.

However, 13 of those 29 series have India playing at least two T20s. The BCCI seniors' wish to cut down on bilateral T20s might stem from a desire to maintain the appeal of the Indian Premier League. All the top players in India are seen in action for their respective franchises in at least 14 games per IPL season and a possible two to four additional games should the team make the playoffs.

No one from the BCCI officialdom admits the fact as it is, though. Some of them stress on the fact that they don't want "Indian players to play too many T20s, thus resulting in ODIs being completely redundant". As a result, the BCCI will try and negotiate with seven of the 10 cricket boards for reducing the number of T20 fixtures.

According to the existing FTP draft, every team barring England, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are slated to play two T20s against India in a series at least once over the next eight years. If BCCI succeeds in its negotiations, South Africa and Pakistan will be the biggest losers. While India is supposed to play two T20s in each of its four bilateral series with South Africa during the FTP window, Pakistan are pitted against India in 11 T20s spread over five series.

If the other boards cede to BCCI's request, then there could be a minor change to the number of ODIs to be played in the series. Pakistan's itinerary is likely to remain unchanged, since Pakistan cricketers don't feature in the IPL and the broadcasters are likely to put their foot down. A reduction in number of T20 games in an India series, especially at home, would result in significant loss of revenues for Cricket South Africa.

The BCCI have traditionally been averse to playing T20 fixtures in bilateral series. Ever since India's maiden T20 international in South Africa in December 2006, the Indian team has played only 52 T20s and 28 of them have been spread over five World T20s.

Besides finalising the FTP of the national side, the BCCI is also planning to formulate its own schedules for the India A and India Under-19 sides. The consensus among the top management of the BCCI has been that as far as possible, the junior and the A sides should tour major cricketing opposition in the months before the national team's tour to the country.

The BCCI has already started implementing the theory with India A sides since last year. Fringe players toured South Africa A before India's curtailed tour to South Africa in December 2013. Similarly, India A is touring Australia at the moment, five months ahead of the senior side's four-Test series. The BCCI hierarchy wants the same policy extended to the Under-19 team in order to give more exposure to talented youngsters.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on July 11, 2014, 23:12 GMT

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't

  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    oh! no plz increase the t20 matches and try to keep matches with top ranked associate countries

  • Garry on July 11, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    dwblurb I agree with you, look at the 20/20 part of the NZ to WI tour, we played a 2nd string team as we obviously don't care about it, besides the world cup who remembers who beat who in past games?

  • Garry on July 11, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Why on earth are we (New Zealand) playing so much ODI's vs India? We are playing more ODI's than any other country but less tests than most. Is it because India rate us at this version or simple financial reasons? It doesn't make sense.

  • Android on July 11, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    Does this schedule mean West Indies can be replaced by Ireland?

  • David on July 11, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    Whatever the reasons behind it, this is good news. If T20s must be played, keep them at domestic level with perhaps the World T20 only at international level.

  • Stefan on July 11, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Good move. Although this is driven to boost IPL, I still believe this is the future of cricket. T20 as a club/domestic format - tests and ODi as international level.

  • Saif on July 11, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    NOOOOO, please increase, and maintain balance amongst the three formats. 3 T20s, 3 ODIs and 3 Tests (or in the reverse order) should be an ideal tour...

  • James on July 11, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    This is good from cricket India. I'm beginning to accept what they are doing, they are now playing lots of Tests, and ODI's while keeping T20 at a minimum, showing the primacy of the two traditional forms of the game.

    Good on the BCCI, lets hope they continue to lead in this manner.

  • ian on July 11, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    BCCI understands one thing: more is less. Create a scarcity of something and the price goes up. Smart, BCCI. Very business-like. It's an area in which you are nobody's equal. (As for me, the more you keep t20 domestic, the better. )

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