India power play means no ODI cricket in Australia next summer
India have flexed their financial and political muscle, forcing Cricket Australia to reshape its 2019-20 home fixture, which will now, incredibly, not feature a one-day international for the first time in more than 40 years.
Under the new Future Tours Program, Australia are scheduled to complete a three-match one-day international tour of India in late January – already a rare occurrence for an Australian side in the peak of summer.
India’s Rohit Sharma plays a shot as Australia’s Jhye Richardson looks on.Credit:AP
"As a sport, we are fortunate that we have three formats, a compelling international and domestic offering for both men and women. Complexities are bound to and often arise.
"What we are working through is a solution that sees us honouring our commitments to overseas boards, being flexible to their changing needs, balanced with the need to schedule a summer of cricket that works for the fans. We are confident we will find a way to deliver, with some trade-offs."
CA faced the threat of millions of dollars of financial recompense had the Indian series been postponed and, ultimately, agreed to the BCCI's request.
That the series had been scheduled in the first place and has been known about for some time has raised eyebrows and gave new CA chief executive Kevin Roberts little room to move.
India's decision also has implications for the Big Bash League, for had the series been shifted, it would have allowed several international stars to prominently feature in the Twenty20 tournament in the key weeks of summer – a major issue last summer.
That the length of the BBL – but not the number of matches – is likely to be shortened next summer means there could be no time for those players on the Indian ODI tour, possibly including Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith and David Warner, to return in time to play a part in the BBL.
The sport's governing body, which held a board of directors meeting on Friday, has informed host broadcasters Fox Sports and Channel Seven of the developments.
Fox Sports shows all BBL games and has exclusive coverage of home ODI matches, meaning the absence of the ODI series against the Black Caps could hurt its subscription model. Fox did not wish to comment. Seven shares the BBL.
Nine Entertainment Co, the owner of this publication, has the rights to ICC events, including the World Cup beginning next month, and this year's Ashes series in England.
Politics are involved in almost every dealing with the BCCI, and this was no different. India will return for a campaign of four Tests and three ODIs in Australia late next year, and there could have been ramifications for that had CA refused to tour for the ODI series.
It could have also hurt CA's hopes of staging a day-night here against India, the BCCI having refused that request last summer.
The 2020-21 summer begins with the World Twenty20 on home soil, followed by a maiden one-off Test against new boys, Afghanistan. India then come to town.
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