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India declines England Twenty20 offer

The Indian cricket board has turned down England's request to play Twenty20 international matches on its extended tour of India early next year.

The Indian cricket board has turned down England's request to play Twenty20 international matches on its extended tour of India early next year.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was reportedly keen on one or more Twenty20 matches between the two national teams on its March-April tour.

But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is "not in favour" of its team playing a version of the game that is fast becoming a rage worldwide though yet to find its feet in India.

"ECB is anticipating that the England team will play three Tests and seven one-day internationals (ODIs) on next year's tour of India," ECB director of cricket operations John Carr told IANS.

"ECB's understanding is that BCCI is not in favour of the Indian team playing Twenty20 international matches," he said.

Carr also clarified that all seven one-day internationals - it is the first time England will be playing so many ODIs here - will be bilateral matches with India and not as part of a triangular series.

"We hope to play seven straight ODIs against India. We are expecting a draft itinerary from BCCI within a couple of weeks and both boards will be keen to promptly confirm the itinerary," he said.

It looks like the two boards are set to amicably sort out the schedule as against the bitter battle fought over the itinerary four years ago.

In 2001, England turned down a BCCI request to play seven one-day internationals, citing only six matches were agreed upon earlier by the A.C. Muthiah-led BCCI and ECB.

But just before England visited India in late 2001, Muthiah lost the post of BCCI president to Jagmohan Dalmiya. The new BCCI supremo wanted England to play seven ODIs; otherwise he said India would not play an additional fourth Test match on the 2002 tour of England.

ECB did not budge even after a bitter battle and England played only six matches, in addition to the three Tests. India, however, ended up playing four Tests in England in 2002.

The BCCI and ECB administrations have since changed, but, ironically, Dalmiya still remains in the thick of things despite Ranbir Singh Mahendra and S.K. Nair being BCCI president and secretary, respectively.

On his recent visit to India, ECB chairman David Morgan told IANS that he was "discussing" the 2006 tour's itinerary with Dalmiya despite the latter not being a BCCI office-bearer.

At the recent International Cricket Council annual meetings in London, Dalmiya and ECB officials again met and seem to have thrashed out the number of matches that England will play in India next year.

"We anticipate the international matches being played from early to middle of March through to middle to late April," Carr said in an e-mail message.

Carr also said a venue inspection team would visit India ahead of the series to assess the arrangements.

"It is ECB's standard practice to visit some or all the venues to be used for a tour. The timing of any such visit is to be confirmed," said Carr. Salve helices pariah inure paleoserology evangelistic?
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source - eians.com

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