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    July 14, 2008

    Proposed schedule for England tour of North, West, Central & East India

    The ECB announced that the BCCI had sent the proposed itinerary for England's tour India north of the Vindhyas later this year.

    The ECB is totally peeved about the fact that 7 of the 9 international games are at smaller cities like Rajkot, Indore, Kanpur, Jamshedpur, Cuttack, Guwahati & Ahmedabad (Delhi and Mumbai host one game each). While they may be justified in their concern for the Barmy Army not watching cricket at other main cricketing centres like Bangalore, Chennai & Kolkota, the BCCI will obviously point out that the rotation policy, based on which games are allotted to various cities/grounds, has resulted in this situation.

    The 61 ODIs that have been played in India over the last 3 years have been hosted at 25 different grounds. By and large, the rotation policy has been adhered to. There is the odd exception here and there for political administrative reasons, quite a few during the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy because of the ICC's ground-advertising restrictions.

    There's no way a game in Chennai would have made sense. The tour is in November and Chennai's "rainy season", officially, is between October & December. You'd end up with 5 mm of rain in those 3 months, but it's still the rainy season! The last few internationals played in those 3 months have all been affected by rain: a test v Sri Lanka in 2005, an ODI v South Africa in 2005, a potential classic v Australia in 2004 and an ODI v New Zealand in 2003.

    But yes, some aspects of the schedule are definitely hard to understand. Such as not a single game being scheduled anywhere in South India. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are typically exempt from the North-East monsoon. So I don't understand why they've been left off the schedule altogether. There's also a distinct West Zone bias to the schedule: 3 games (1 test) in Mumbai, 3 games in Gujarat (Rajkot, Baroda & Ahmedabad). That's hardly surprising given where Sharad Pawar, Ratnakar Shetty and Niranjan Shah are from.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:37 PM |
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