BCCI announces venues for SA series
The change in leadership in the BCCI sees the return of international cricket to Nagpur and Gwalior or Indore. The two host associations - Vidarbha Cricket Association and Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association - are controlled by Shashank Manohar and Jyotiraditya Scindia, respectively, who fell out with N Srinivasan, and consequently lost out on big matches for at least the last three years.
The BCCI announced on Sunday that Ahmedabad, Delhi, Nagpur and Bangalore will host the Tests against South Africa in October and November this year. The board also confirmed the venues for the ODI and T20 games on the tour, and three T20s against Sri Lanka in February 2016, before the World T20 which will be played in India.
Chennai, Kanpur, Indore/Gwalior, Rajkot and Mumbai will host the five ODIs against South Africa, while the three T20 internationals of the tour will be played in Kolkata, Mohali and Dharamsala.
Sri Lanka will travel to India for three T20 internationals - to be played in Visakhapatnam, Pune and Delhi - which will be played in February next year prior to the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20. The venues were finalised by the BCCI's tour, programme and fixtures committee that met in Kolkata on Sunday.
Even though the BCCI follows a rotation policy while allotting international games matches, both the VCA and MPCA suffered due to their fallouts with the previous leadership. The VCA, headquartered in Nagpur, didn't host a Test during N Srinivasan's controversial three-year regime as BCCI chief. Though Manohar and Srinivasan were allies earlier, they had turned into bitter rivals, with Manohar publicly criticising Srinivasan's handling of the 2013 IPL corruption scandal.
Similarly, the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, controlled by another Srinivasan detractor Jyotiraditya Scindia, has been allotted an ODI after almost four years. During Sanjay Jagdale's stint as a BCCI office-bearer, MPCA hosted two ODIs in as many years, with Gwalior hosting an ODI against South Africa in February 2010, and West Indies playing in Indore in December 2011.
With India scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka for three Tests in August, South Africa's tour will be the only major bilateral series for India at home in the 2015-16 season. Following Sri Lanka's visit, India are scheduled to play in the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo