It is believed discussions were held at ICC level earlier this year, where James Sutherland, CA chief executive, raised the prospect of a clash of games involving the first Test in Bangalore and Australia’s scheduled T20I series against Sri Lanka at home on February 17, 19 and 22.
CA does not expect the Border-Gavaskar Trophy fixture will directly clash with the back end of the Australian summer, but there is a scenario where Australia could be playing a T20 game at home and a Test match in India simultaneously.
“We are scenario-planning and we strongly don’t anticipate that an Australian team will be playing the same day as another Aussie team,” Howard toldFoxsports.com.au on Thursday (August 4). “Our caveat is we don’t know when the Indian Tests are. We haven’t got that schedule confirmed.”
Testament to an increasingly crammed calendar due to the rise of Twenty20 cricket, tours have been coinciding as highlighted earlier this year when Australia’s ODI squad left for New Zealand in the midst of a Twenty20 series against India in Australia.
But specific matches are yet to clash, although it is a prospect that appears inevitable. “The schedule will continue to be tight, and has been for the last couple of years,” Howard said. “There have been contingency plans discussed. The preparation clashes which happened in the past, I can absolutely see happening again.”
Howard said Test cricket remained Australia’s priority. “I don’t apologise for putting Test cricket first,” he said. “We have to give the guys every opportunity to play well in India, which will mean (other) guys will get an opportunity to play T20 international cricket here.” (Courtesy Cricbuzz.com)