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MUMBAI: The Indian cricket team is not in favour of long tours going forward, just the way England, Australia and South Africa have preferred it on their tours to the Indian sub-continent. England, for instance, tour India to play Test cricket but do not stay back for the shorter formats. For that, they arrive after a break like they did in December 2016 when they headed back home for Christmas and returned in January the next year.
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The Indian team management would like to avail a similar concession. An apt example is India’s tour of England starting July 2018. The Indian team is expected to leave sometime mid-June to play three T20Is, three ODIs and five Test matches on a tour that’ll last a little more than two-and-half-months.
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This is the crux of a very detailed discussion that India skipper Virat Kohli, former skipper MS Dhoni and coach Ravi Shastri had with the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) in New Delhi on Thursday. The meeting came only days after Kohli had spoken to the media in Nagpur about scheduling, which he maintained needs to be less hectic.
He spoke his mind with the CoA in the Thursday meeting once again, insisting that certain firm resolutions need to be put in place. For instance, the Team India management specifically wants international cricket scheduling to be done in a way where there’s time before and after each marquee event for cricketers to get their intensity back. “There needs to be proper time given to warm-ups ahead of big tours and enough time to acclimatise. The team management has been very specific about this,” sources privy to the details of the meeting said.
Kohli, Dhoni and Shastri were pleased with the manner in which the meeting went and believe that the discussions were very “reasonable”. Except that this is only the beginning of these discussions. CoA head Vinod Rai categorically told those present that this was merely a proposal being put forward and any decision on this can only happen once it goes through the finance committee of the BCCI. “The CoA can only recommend”, said those present at the meeting.
The new Future Tours Program, that lists down India’s prerogatives as much as the home and away commitments starting post the 2019 World Cup, was presented to the team management and the latter looked content with the new model.