The BCCI’s Programmes and Fixtures committee, headed by Rajiv Shukla, chalked out the detailed schedule of the hastily-arranged series against the West Indies, comprising two Tests and three one-dayers to be held next month.
“Tendulkar had requested that the 200th Test match should be given to Mumbai, so that his mother could also watch the match. The BCCI president and BCCI thought about it and accepted it. Keeping that sentiment in mind, it has been allocated to Wankhede stadium in Mumbai (scheduled from November 14-18),” Shukla told reporters.
The Eden Gardens in Kolkata will host the opening clash of the series from November 6 to 10 and like Wankhede, gets an ‘out-of-turn’ Test match as according to the BCCI’s rotational policy, it was actually Bangalore and Ahmedabad’s turn.
“The committee decided to give the first Test match against West Indies to Kolkata,” he said.
Explaining the rationale to have the first Test in Kolkata, Shukla said, “Since both the Test matches are going to be important, it requires a bigger venue. A stadium which is large, that is why the first Test match has been given to Kolkata.”
The Caribbean side will also play three ODIs slated for November 21, 24 and 27. The venues for the first two one-day internationals will be Kochi and Visakhapatnam, respectively, while the third could either be held at Kanpur or Baroda.
“Out of three ODIs, two ODI venues have been decided as Kochi and Vizag. The third ODI is between Kanpur and Baroda, subject to technical clearance and that is why the inspection team will go to Kanpur,” said Shukla.
“After that the third venue will be decided. The decision will be taken after one week for the third venue,” Shukla said.
On the board’s plans to host a grand farewell for Tendulkar, Shukla said, “We will discuss that. The match starts on November 14th, so there is time. Working committee can also decide on that.”
The 40-year-old Tendulkar last week announced his decision to retire from Test cricket after playing his landmark 200th match, bringing an end to the intense speculation about his future.
The board had squeezed in the home series against the West Indies to give Tendulkar an opportunity to retire in front of his home fans.
On India’s tour to South Africa, he said, “As far as South African tour is concerned, talks between the two boards are still going on. The president of Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the chief of the BCCI are still engaged in talking. So there was no discussion in the tours and fixtures committee meeting today on the South African tour.”
CSA had initially announced an itinerary that had three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20 Internationals, which BCCI immediately shot down accusing the home board of taking decisions unilaterally.
The itinerary of the series between India and the West Indies:
October 28: The West Indies cricket team arrives in India
October 31-November 2: Three-day game (West Indies v UPCA at Cuttack)
November 6-10: First Test at Kolkata
November 14-18: Second Test at Mumbai
November 21: First ODI at Kochi
November 24: Second ODI at Visakhapatnam
November 27: Third ODI at Baroda/Kanpur.