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November 1, 2005
The choice of venues for the three-Test, seven-ODI tour surprised many. The Tests are scheduled for Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Mumbai while the one-dayers are due to be played at Goa, Indore, Guwahati, Faridabad, Cuttack, Cochin and Visakhapatnam.
The ECB's concerns are almost certainly centred on the fact that two of the three Tests are away from major venues, and also that the tour involves a considerable amount of traveling. The hectic itinerary during the one-dayers could dissuade many supporters from following the side, and Ahmedabad and Nagpur are not considered to be as attractive to tourists as the more high-profile Test grounds.
The Indian board explained that the venues had been selected in accordance with its own rotation policy, adding that the itinerary would be confirmed only after consultation with the ECB over logistics.. It also revealed that Goa's right to stage an ODI was dependent on the satisfactory completion of an investigation into ticketing problems when Australia played there in 2001.
"After the Ashes victory this summer interest surged for tours to India, the schedule as its stands makes it a little more challenging," a spokesperson for Grandstand Tours, one of the leading firms who provide supporters' holidays, told Cricinfo. "Areas such as Ahmedabad and Nagpur as Test venues offer a distinct lack of suitable tourist facilities. There is still a lot of interest in the series, we have had over 800 enquiries and expect to take approximately 150 supporters out to India. The only other problem I can foresee at this stage is that alcohol is banned in Ahmedabad which may deter people from attending the first Test."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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