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India could tour Sri Lanka for limited-over series in July

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Kolkata, May 10 (IANS) India could play a three-match ODI and five-match T20I series against Sri Lanka in July, the Indian cricket board president, Sourav Ganguly, has said.

Going by the ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP), India are scheduled to play three T20 matches in Sri Lanka this July. India were also due to play three T20Is and an equal number of ODIs last June in the island nation, but that tour was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

As a 20-member Indian squad is set to leave for England in early June to play the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and the five-Test series against England, starting on August 4, it’s unlikely that India would be able to send their best team to Sri Lanka.

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In all likelihood, it could be a completely different squad, without several first-choice cricketers, if the tour takes place in July at all.

Sri Lanka, too, will be playing three ODIs and three T20Is in England between June 23 and July 4, and given the Covid quarantine norms, it would be interesting to see how and when the series with India takes place.

In an interview with Sportstar, when Ganguly was asked if there was a possibility of the remainder of the postponed IPL season being completed in England on either side of India’s Test series there, he said: “No”.

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“India is supposed to go to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is. There are lots of organisational hazards like 14-day quarantine. It [the IPL] can’t happen in India [either]. This quarantine is tough to handle; too early to say how we can find a slot to complete the IPL.”

Ahead of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India in October-November, and after the conclusion of the England Test series on September 14, India will have a small window in their schedule — sometime in mid-October. But given the pandemic situation, there is a possibility that the remainder of the IPL will be shifted.

Sri Lanka and the UAE will then become an option for hosting the remaining IPL matches.

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–IANS

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