Chennai: In a welcome move, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) brass took Rahul Dravid’s views into account ' even though, technically, he hasn’t been retained captain ' before finalising the itinerary for the forthcoming tour of Pakis-tan.
“The itinerary suggested by Pakistan was faxed to Dravid a couple of days ago... Today, his opinion was formally sought once it was known that the Asia Cup had been indefinitely postponed... Dravid spoke to the coach (Greg Chappell) and some of the seniors before communicating his views to secretary Niranjan Shah,” a top source told The Telegraph on Sunday.
According to the source, Dravid (on behalf of the team) requested that the tour have a delayed start instead of beginning on January 1, allowing more time to recover from the home engagements which began on October 25 and will only end on December 22.
Given the Asia Cup development, the BCCI suggested the change to Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan, who agreed. With Khan timing his Mumbai visit to coincide with the working committee meeting at the CCI there, the itinerary was effectively finalised over lunch.
While the Boards have agreed, New Delhi’s consent has to be taken. Getting the Ministry of External Affairs’ clearance shouldn’t be a problem. As on the last tour, 2003-04, Peshawar is just going to host one of the ODIs.
Meanwhile, despite there again being no play at the Chepauk, Dravid and Chappell had a somewhat busy day. Somewhere at the top of their agenda was a 90-minute meeting with two (Bhupinder Singh Sr and Sanjay Jagdale) of the three new selectors.
The other newcomer, East’s Ranjib Biswal, hadn’t arrived by the evening.
(subject to New Delhi’s okay)
Jan. 6: Departure for and arrival in Pakistan (Lahore)
Jan. 8-10: Practice match in Lahore
Jan. 14-18: First Test in Lahore
Jan. 22-26: Second Test in Faisalabad
Jan. 30-Feb. 3: Third Test in Karachi
Feb. 7: First ODI in Peshawar
Feb. 10: Second ODI in Rawalpindi
Feb. 13: Third ODI in Lahore
Feb. 16: Fourth ODI in Multan
Feb. 19: Fifth ODI in Karachi