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Tri-series dates announced

August 06, 2006 19:02 IST

The Malaysia-Singapore tri-series featuring Australia, West Indies and India will be held from September 12 to 24, BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

The cricket boards of both Australia and West Indies have given their consent for the tri-series which will be held under lights, Shah told reporters.

"Seven matches will be played under lights during this series," Shah said adding, that three matches each would be played in Singapore, while four matches including the final will be played in Kuala Lumpur.

The series will be part of India's 'neutral venue' programme.

"This tri-series will help the Indian team in having a good practice before the ICC Champions Trophy," Shah remarked.

The television rights for this series has been given to Zee Television, he added.

Shah said that officials of the BCCI will help the Malaysia and Singapore cricket boards in organising this tournament.

Shah dismissed concerns regarding the fitness of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, saying that he has fully recovered from his shoulder injury.

"I think Sachin is fully fit to play cricket," Shah remarked. "Moreover, Sachin is such a player that if he feels he is not fully fit then he will not take part," he added.

"One thing that everybody has to bear in mind is that Sachin has just come out of a major surgery and a rehabilitation programme. The board will go by the report of John Gloster," Shah said.

Regarding coach Greg Chappell's comments on Irfan Pathan, Shah said, "Pathan is a little tired. But we need him as a fast bowler."

"There are about 10 more days to go [before the tour] and there are two warm-up matches in Sri Lanka," Shah said indicating that there is enough time for both the players to recuperate.

"Now we have a good bunch of young bowlers and we want them to settle down before the World Cup," he said.

Asked if former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly had any chance of being selected for the national squad, Shah said: "we are very clear regarding this subject. No BCCI member will interfere in the way of selection process."

"The [BCCI] board will endorse whatever the selectors decide," Shah added.

Regarding the number of probables for the ICC Champions Trophy, Shah said captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell seem inclined towards selecting around 20 or 22 players for the tournament

"We are trying to concentrate on a small bunch of players. This will also help the players in getting adequate practice and be mentally ready for the World Cup."

"Numbers do not [always] help," Shah said.

The BCCI secretary made it clear that it is up to the selectors to come up with the number of probables list and the Board did not wish to interfere in any selection process.

"It's up to the selection committee to choose the number of probables. It should not exceed 30 as per the ICC's directive," Shah said.

The final 14-member team has to be chosen before September 7 and submitted to the International Cricket Council.

 

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