England have had a whinge about the choice of venues for their tour of India in December 2008. The ECB has expressed disappointment! It is now becoming a bit of a habit. Prior to their previous tour in 2005, the ECB had a similar whine about the venues that they were to play in. I wrote about it back then!
The reason for the ECB whine is the same this year: Ground selection
The method has been, quite annoyingly, the same: Negotiations played out through the media!
The reasoning is the same: The England supporters need better ground facilities and would like to see the match at places like Eden Gardens, etc.
The response from the BCCI has been the same: Grounds are allocated on a “rotation policy”.
I get the feeling that sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same!
The England itinerary for their tour of India, for the record, is:
November 6, 2008 England arrive in Mumbai
November 9 One-day warm-up match, Mumbai
November 11 One-day warm-up match, Mumbai
November 14 1st ODI v India, Rajkot
November 17 2nd ODI v India, Indore
November 20 3rd ODI v India, Kanpur
November 23 4th ODI v India, Jamshedpur
November 26 5th ODI v India, Cuttack
November 29 6th ODI v India, Guwahati
December 2 7th ODI v India, Delhi
December 5-7 Three-day warm-up match, Baroda
December 11-15 1st Test v India, Ahmedabad
December 19-23 2nd Test v India, CCI Mumbai
The ECB is concerned about the facilities in the grounds where the ODIs are being played. Sometimes, I feel that the BCCI takes perverse pleasure in making the ECB twitch a bit! The way the scheduling game was played out in 2005 had me in splits. It is likely that the game will be played out similarly in 2008! Back in 2005, England had even made an informal request to Pakistan to see if their practice games could be held in that country — even though Pakistan is always thought of as an “unsafe country” to visit by the ECB!
As in 2005, the ECB is right to ensure that its team and its fans are well looked after. I wrote about it in great detail in 2005! It is the ECB’s method that appears shocking.
It would be interesting to see how this game plays out!