The BCCI have replaced Zimbabwe with Sri Lanka as India’s opponents for the T20 series set to take place in January next year in the wake of the ICC’s suspension of the African side’s full membership.
India were slated to play three T20Is against Zimbabwe at the start of next year but the series had been thrown into doubt when the ICC decided to suspend the country’s cricket board with immediate effect in July in this year.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) became the first full ICC member in history to be suspended after the global governing body took cognisance to perceived interference by the country’s government in the running of cricketing affairs.
That suspension has now cost ZC dearly with the BCCI inviting Sri Lanka instead for a three-match series in January next year.
“In the wake of Zimbabwe’s suspension by ICC, the BCCI invited Sri Lanka to participate in the three-match series. Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed their participation,” BCCI stated in a press release issued on Wednesday.
The three T20s will be held in Guwahati, Indore and Pune on January 5, 7 and 10 respectively according to the itinerary released by the BCCI.
While Zimbabwe’s board remains suspended, the men’s team did tour Bangladesh just recently for a T20I tri-series also involving Afghanistan. Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput has termed the cancellation of the Indian tour as an unfortunate development for his men.
“The players were looking forward to the India tour. Our players are naturally disappointed with the development,” Rajput told the Sportstar.
“Playing against the best team in the world would have helped our players immensely. India has the best bowling unit at the moment and playing against them would have certainly helped us. It is quite unfortunate that we missed out on the opportunity.
“We are now playing tri-nation tournaments and that’s why, we thought that the India tour will be on as well. But we don’t know what exactly happened.”
The Zimbabwe team is currently in Singapore where they are due to take on the hosts and Nepal in another upcoming T20 tri-series.
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