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India, Bangladesh, SL to play tri-series

India and Bangladesh will play in a ‘Nidahas Trophy’ triangular series in Sri Lanka in March next year but, as per Sri Lanka Cricket, it is not yet clear if the matches will be T20Is or ODIs.

“The [SLC] technical committee and cricket committee is looking into it, but at the moment we would like it to be a T20 triangular – that’s what the agreement is,” SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala said.

Also unclear is how many of the limited-overs matches in Sri Lanka’s scheduled tour to India will be cancelled to allow the Nidahas Trophy to take place. According to the Future Tours Programme, Sri Lanka are set to play five ODIs, and a T20I in India in March next year, which will follow three Tests. Sumathipala said that at least some of those matches would effectively be transmuted into Nidahas Trophy games, while BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said the boards were still “working on” the exact schedule.

Nevertheless, the dates for the Nidahas Trophy – which celebrates Sri Lanka’s 70th anniversary of independence from the British – have been set down, Sumathipala said. The tournament will consist of seven matches in all – each team playing the others twice, before two progress to the final – and will take place between March 15 and March 30, 2018.

“We look forward to playing the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka next year, as it not only coincides with the 70th year of the independence of our nation, but the 70th anniversary of Sri Lanka Cricket,” Sumathipala said. “As our nations gained independence within a short span of each other in our contemporary history, this will no doubt be a significant moment of similar sentimental value for us to mark with pomp and pageantry as it rightfully warrants.”

Sumathipala denied, however, that India agreed to participate in the Nidahas Trophy only in return for SLC’s support in their opposition to the ICC resolution that aims to roll back the Big Three policies instituted in 2014.

“We made this appeal to India in about June or May last year,” he said. “India were here during the Asian Cricket Council opening ceremony, so we discussed this – it’s been going on for seven to eight months. So this has nothing to do with the ICC board meeting that happened in February. Our stand has been very clear.” (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)

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