THE uncertainty which has surrounded the much-talked about tour of Zimbabwe by India is over after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reportedly gave the nod for the tour to go ahead after a meeting held at the weekend.
By DANIEL NHAKANISO, SPORTS REPORTER
According to an Indian publication, Bangalore Mirror, a reliable source in the BCCI board confirmed that the details of the tour had been finalised and Jagmohan Dalmiya, the interim BCCI president, has given his go-ahead.
Dalmiya took over as the BCCI interim president on May 26 after previous chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan stepped aside in the wake of the Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal. The publication further indicated that the decision to go ahead with the tour was taken in Kolkata last week when Dalmiya called for an informal meeting with some board officials.
“The tour is on and we’ve finalised the modalities. The tour immediately follows the one-day tri-series in the West Indies,” an unnamed BCCI official told the Bangalore Mirror.
Contrary to reports that India would most likely rest its top stars for the short cricket tour, the BCCI source indicated that most of the Indian players are likely to take part in the matches.
“There is no such plan to send a second-string team. We’ll see who will be available, but the team sure will consist mostly of regular players,” the official, who was involved in the finalisation of the tour, said.
Recently, there were reports that the BCCI cancelled the tour citing fatigue among the players. The decision had led to some sort of disappointment within Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) which was banking on the cashflow from the series.
An India tour is lucrative because of the large television audience back home. Zimbabwe recently hosted Bangladesh and is also scheduled to hold matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but none of the series is financially viable for the local cricket governing body. Originally, India were scheduled to play only three one-dayers in Zimbabwe, but the tour has been swelled to five games.
ZC recently sent India a draft memorandum of understanding in which they requested for two more one-dayers and provisionally set the tour for July 17-28. The first three ODIs have been set for the capital on July 17, 20 and 23 while the last two matches have been slated for Bulawayo on July 26 and 28.
The Indian team, currently playing in the Champions Trophy in England, will proceed to the West Indies for the tri-series involving Sri Lanka and the home team from June 28 to July 11.
A week later, the richest international cricket giants will travel to Zimbabwe.