Kolkata: India would leave for South Africa on January 31 next year to take part in the 8th World Cup tournament, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya announced on Thursday. Cricket's quadrennial showpiece would be staged in the African nation in February- March, 2003. Briefing reporters on the deliberations at the Board's two-day working committee meeting, which concluded during the day, the BCCI chief said the West Indies would tour India from October 1 to November 24 to play three Tests, seven One-day Internationals and two first class matches.
Originally, the Caribbean side was scheduled to take part in five Tests and an equal number of One-dayers. ''But keeping in mind our preparations for the World Cup we requested the West Indies Board to cut down the number of Tests and instead play two more Limited Over matches. They readily agreed,'' Dalmiya said.
Immediately after the West Indies series ends, the Indians would embark on a 44-day trip to new Zealand from December 3 during which two Tests and seven One-day Internationals would be played. The Indian team would leave the New Zealand shores on January 16 next year. As in the case of the Caribbean, the Board prevailed upon its New Zealand counterpart to agree to a change in the original programme according to which the two sides were scheduled to play three Tests and five One-dayers.