CHENNAI: The next cricket series on Indian soil is less than a month away, Australia have already announced their squad and promos featuring tigers and kagaraoos are on air. Strangely, the BCCI has been rather late in finalising the venues and notifying the associations hosting the five ODIs and three T20Is to be played from September 17 to October 13.
After announcing a tentative schedule on August 2, the BCCI is still to release a formal one. Some of the associations got confirmations only on Friday of the dates they are hosting the matches. Some of the associations are still to receive it. According to BCCI veterans, who said such letters are usually sent well in advance, the delay has been caused by uncertainty at the top in the board.
The ODI series begins in Chennai on September 17. Kolkata, Nagpur, Bengaluru and Indore will host the next four. Officials of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and Cricket Association of Bengal said they are aware of the “tentative schedule” and preparing accordingly. Nagpur and Bengaluru said they received mails on Friday. Hosting a T20I, Hyderabad is yet to receive any formal communication.
“We are still to get an official confirmation. Going by the tentative schedule, we were supposed to host a T20 match against Australia on October 13. We are making arrangements according to that,” Hyderabad Cricket Association president G Vivekanand told Express on Friday.
While Vidarbha Cricket Association president Anand Jaiswal said the confirmation was received on Friday, a spokesperson of the Karnataka State Cricket Association informed they too got have got the confirmation. “We had requested that the match allotted to us be rescheduled to September 28. It has been accepted,” said the KSCA spokesperson.
Surprisingly, the BCCI has not put up the schedule on its website yet. Neither has it issued a media release, like it does when dates and venues of any international series are finalised. Calls to all BCCI officials, the CEO and members of the CoA went unanswered. When contacted, Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI General Manager (Game Development), said he was not aware of the schedule and referred the matter to MV Sridhar, BCCI General Manager. Sridhar too was not reachable.
“With court matters taking up a lot of time and lack of clarity over who actually heads BCCI, these things are not functioning the way they should. But that shouldn’t be a problem because most of the associations are experienced in hosting matches of such scale,” said an official of a hosting association.