Damocles sword hangs over Packer's series

Published: Friday, July 6, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:The annual one-day triangular series of Australia is under a threat to be scrapped from next summer due to the congested Future Tours Program (FTP) of the Australian cricket team.

Under the Program, Australia are slated to play Tests and separate ODI series against South Africa and New Zealand.

The tri-series, which was started by Kerry Packer in 1979, is safe this summer when India and Sri Lanka visit Australia.

The development came as CA on Thursday confirmed next summer's program, including tour matches.

The biggest factor in favour of the tri series is that it attracts enormous television audience overseas allowing CA to pocket millions of dollars from broadcast rights.

CA will be required to consult Channel 9 also, as the contract between the two stipulates 40 days of play must be shown.

Apart from the following summer, the format is contracted until 2011-12, but a congested international calendar, the fact it falls in a popular time of the year for most nations and board politics may mean countries pull out once that deal expires.

Cricket Australia has discussed the issue for 12 months and will soon begin surveying the interest of rival nations.

It is felt that the tri-series format is too long and has become stale, but CA's Operations manager Michael Brown said CA remained happy.

''At this stage we haven't committed to the five one-day games each in 2008-09,'' Brown was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.

He further added, ''Part of our preparation at the moment is looking at what all the options are beyond this summer.'' ''Those options include: Do we continue with the tri-series which have for every year bar '08-09? Do we look to go to a head-to-head program? Do we look to go to a combination of a head-to-head and tri-series program?'' CA will address several issues as part of the complex Future Tours Program when the new schedule is drafted.


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