CHENNAI : Where will Team India head after IPL? The straight answer should be Australia, for a full-fledged tour beginning in December. But as of now, it is unclear. Cricket Australia (CA) is yet to confirm venues for the three T20Is, as many ODIs and four Tests. There is a possibility of the series happening in the UAE also, although this is still at an early stage.
Sources in BCCI indicate that CA has sent a tentative schedule with Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney as the venues.
On Saturday, CA said that the Australian team returning from the UK after the third ODI on September 16 will be allowed to complete their quarantine period at the onsite hotel in Adelaide Oval. But there is no confirmation whether Brisbane and Sydney will host matches, as CA also has to find a suitable venue for the Big Bash League that runs parallel with the India series.
CA was supposed to finalise the schedule this week, but following Western Australia’s stance to not relax quarantine rules means Perth, which was spoken about as one of the venues, is ruled out.
CA was looking at Brisbane for the limited-over ties, with Adelaide hosting the first two Tests including the day/night fixture and the Boxing Day match if the Covid-19 situation doesn’t improve in Melbourne. Sydney was talked about as the venue to host the remaining two Tests.
Under the circumstances, the UAE may appear to be a logical choice. An official in the know confirmed that discussions are on, but declined to elaborate. If the series moves to UAE, it would come at a cost for CA. While they can use the bio-secure bubble already in place, operational costs have to be borne by them. Timings will be more suited to the Indian audience than Australian.
So far, CA has not got confirmation from News South Wales with regards to Sydney Cricket Ground. As for Brisbane, Queensland is going for elections on October 31.
Reports from Down Under suggest CA has to wait until November 1 for confirmation on Brisbane. CA has already decided to host the Women’s BBL in Sydney and whether they would do the same for BBL, which begins on December 3, also remains to be seen.
CA is caught in a tussle with host broadcaster Channel Seven, which is threatening to pull out of the deal citing lack of clarity.
Any threat to India’s tour, which usually fetches big money, will be the last thing the broadcaster would want. While there are talks between the boards to finalise the schedule, BCCI officials revealed it would take at least a week.