The Super Challenge one-day series between Australia and India set down for September has been cancelled. The Australian Cricket Board announced the cancellation of the three-match series, which was to have included two matches under a closed roof at Colonial Stadium, Melbourne, after receiving advice from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that it was unable to send a team.
The ACB said today that it had received a fax from BCCI president, Dr AC Muttiah, giving confirmation that India would be unable to meet its committment to the series, which had been set down for September 21, 23 and 26. Dr Muttiah told the ACB that the decision had been made following recent discussions with the Indian players and hearing their concerns about the heavy workload of the Indian team.
The advice from the BCCI president came after it was announced a few days ago that the Indian governing body's Working Committee would consider the participation in the Australian series at its next meeting on August 10.
India are currently in Sri Lanka at the start of a seven-week tour which includes a one-day triangular series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand and three Tests against the host nation. Following the conclusion of the Third Test on September 2, India are expected to play two matches in the Asian Test Championships against Pakistan and Bangladesh later that month, before heading for South Africa. The opening match of their eight-week tour of South Africa, which includes a one-day tri-series involving Kenya followed by three Tests, is scheduled for October 1.
The Australian Cricket Board will not be seeking a replacement for India to take part in the Super Challenge series. ACB chief executive officer James Sutherland, speaking from London, said that although he was disappointed at the BCCI's decision, he hoped that the board would continue to work with the BCCI to bring the Indian team to Australia at a suitable time in the future for the series.
The first Super Challenge series was held in August 2000 at Colonial Stadium, when Australia and South Africa shared the three-match series 1-1 with one tie. This year's series was intended to feature two matches at Colonial Stadium, with the third game to have been played at the Gabba, Brisbane.