England in India 2008-09 November 17, 2008

BCCI wants Test dates changed for Champions League

Cricinfo staff


The BCCI's request will enable Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian captain, to lead Chennai Super Kings, the IPL runners-up, in the final of the Champions League on December 10 - if it makes the cut. © AFP
 

The ECB is considering a request from the BCCI to push back the first Test between England and India by a day to create a larger gap between the two-match series that starts on December 11 and the Champions Twenty20 League that ends the previous night.

The request was made during meetings between BCCI and ECB officials over the weekend. Andrew Walpole, the England team's media manager, said the ECB "is yet to take a decision" on the matter and was studying the suggestion."I understand it's connected with their desire to have India players take part in the Champions League," he told Cricinfo.

Apart from easing the logistical difficulties that come with starting the Test series a day after a major tournament ends, the BCCI's request will free Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the India captain, for the final of the Champions League on December 10 - if his team, Chennai Super Kings, makes the cut.

However, if the ECB agrees to the proposal, it will leave the England team with just two days to recover between the two Tests. The first match is currently scheduled from December 11-15 in Ahmedabad, and the second from December 19-23 in Mumbai. The English camp is also understood to be keen on sticking to the departure date from India (December 24), so that the players are home for Christmas.

Dhoni is the only player from either side taking part in the inaugural Champions League and the Test series that follows. Chennai Super Kings - owned by India Cements, headed by N Srinivasan, the BCCI secretary - have been drawn against Middlesex from England, Western Australia and Titans from South Africa in Group A, and will play their last group match against the Titans on December 7.

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