Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary on Tuesday said Sri Lanka's tour of India had to be advanced because of the Independence Cup the island nation is set to host next year. "On the question of Sri Lanka's earlier arrival..., earlier tweaking has had to happen because Sri Lanka is organising an Independence Cup in Sri Lanka," Choudhary told reporters after a meeting of the BCCI's Tour Programme and Fixtures Committee at a plush hotel.
"That will be shortly after India's return from South Africa. Sri Lanka has always cooperated with India and therefore India will actually be making a reciprocal short version tour only to play the Independence Cup. That's why the tweaking has taken place," he said when asked whether the South Africa tour will be hampered by Sri Lanka's arrival.
Sri Lanka will play three Tests, three ODIs and three T20s in India.
"The three Tests will be at Kolkata, Nagpur and Delhi. The three ODIs will be at Dharamsala, Mohali and Vizag. The three T20 games will be at Kochi/Trivandrum because Trivandrum has a new stadium, Indore and Mumbai," Choudhary said.
Choudhary added that another reason for tweaking the dates for the Sri Lanka series was the cancellation of the proposed series between India and Pakistan.
"There is another reason for the tweaking because there were six proposed exchange of tours between India and Pakistan, which did not happen. So, those spaces had to be adjusted with other activities," he said.
According to reports, it was in January this year that India agreed to play the Independence Cup alongside Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan.
The series is expected to be played in March next year to celebrate 70 years of Sri Lanka's Independence.
Meanwhile, Choudhary also announced the venues for the Australia and New Zealand series.
"Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka are touring India. The first team which arrives in India is Australia and they play the shorter version. The five ODIs will be played at Chennai, Bangalore, Nagpur, Indore and Kolkata," he said.
"The three T20 games will be played at Hyderabad, Ranchi and Guwahati. New Zealand will play three ODI and three T20 games. Three ODIs will be at Pune, Mumbai and Kanpur. Three T20s will be at Delhi, Cuttack and Rajkot."
Asked about the dates of the tours, Choudhary said: "Dates of the matches have deliberately not been frozen today because the logistics must factor in. Local factors such as festivals ... because of Durga Puja as you know what it is in Eastern India, and other public holidays."
"Australia arrives in September itself so..."
BCCI Technical Committee Chairman and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who is also the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President, later said the ODI against Australia will be held on September 21 in Kolkata while the Eden Gardens will host India-Sri Lanka Test on November 16.
(With IANS Inputs)