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India may play against Sri Lanka in February

January 03, 2009 20:20 IST

India is exploring the possibility of playing a brief one-day cricket series against Sri Lanka to compensate for the cancelled tour of Pakistan.

The BCCI officials have already started discussions with Sri Lankan authorities on the proposed series which could be held in mid-February.

The BCCI has incurred a loss of Rs 120 crore because of cancellation of two ODIs against England and the tour to Pakistan in the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai and is keen to recover some of the losses.

"We are discussing the possibility of playing a short series against Sri Lanka. We are working on an itinerary which will be acceptable to both the Boards," a top BCCI official said.

"So far we have got a good response from Sri Lankan officials and we are hopeful that the series will materialise," he said.

With Sri Lanka having already confirmed a tour of Pakistan to fill in for India's cancelled trip, the series may take place immediately after the islanders return from their tour of Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge has also confirmed that he was discussing the series with the BCCI.

"We are about 60 per cent certain that we could arrange a series for the Sri Lanka team with India shortly. We have had successful discussions with the Indian Cricket Board and at the moment we are finalising the schedule," Lokuge told the 'Daily Mirror'.

Lokuge also made it clear that playing a series against India did not mean that Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan had been thrown into jeopardy.

"We are confirming the cricket tour to Pakistan; there is no change in it," he said.

However, Sri Lanka have sought a shorter tour, which will help them accommodate the series against India. SLC had initially agreed to tour Pakistan -- following India's pullout -- from January 20 for three Tests and fives ODIs.

They now want a shortened tour of two Tests, three ODIs and a Twenty20 game from February 15. The new dates would, however, clash with Pakistan's tour to Bangladesh beginning March 3.

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