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|BCCI wants PCB to defer India tour by a week |
Tuesday, January 13 2004 17:42 Hrs (IST)
A letter containing the request has already been sent to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), BCCI sources told in Kolkata on Tuesday.
''We are now awaiting a reply from their end,' they said. BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya had earlier announced that the tour, the first to Pakistan by the senior Indian team in 14 years, would begin from March 1 and continue till the middle of April.
India are scheduled to play five One-dayers and three Tests, and the BCCI was now engaged in discussions with the PCB on finalising the venues and other details.
''We decided to request PCB for pushing back the series by a week, as otherwise it would have been very taxing for our players,'' they said.
The ongoing tri-series limited over tournament in Australia is set to continue till early February, with the third final scheduled for February 10.
''That means if India play the third final, they'll hardly get 17-18 days' time to spend with their family and relax,'' they said.
However, the BCCI has now agreed to PCB's stand that the series should kick off with the Tests followed by the limited over matches.
The BCCI was earlier insisting on first playing the five One-day Internationals and then the Tests. The PCB had argued that if the traditionally crowd-pulling One-day Internationals were staged first, the Test series would lose its gloss.
On the other hand, the BCCI felt that since India and Pakistan would both be entering the series fresh from a One-day tournament in Australia and New Zealand respectively, it made more sense to first have the One-day Internationals and then the Tests.
''But now, this problem has been sorted out. We are prepared to play the Tests first,'' they added. India had last undertaken a tour of Pakistan in 1989 under the captaincy of K Srikanth while the Pakistan team visited India in 1999 for playing three Test matches.
BCCI, PCB undecided on tour schedule