The Afghanistan series will offer captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid three additional opportunities to try out new combinations ahead of the ODI World Cup.
India is set to host Afghanistan in a three-ODI series in June with an eye on the World Cup. The series will also result in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) roping in an interim broadcaster.
Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, confirmed both the developments on Friday. “The Media Rights tender will be released as per schedule this year (June-July) and will depend on the Afghanistan tour, but more likely the process will start from the Australia series (in September,” Shah said here during a select-media interaction.
“The Board will speak to all stakeholders concerned and will come up with an interim decision (for broadcaster).”
The Afghanistan series – not included in the Future Tours Programme – will offer captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid three additional opportunities to try out new combinations ahead of the World Cup, likely to begin from October 5. The series is likely to start on June 16, five days after the scheduled conclusion of India’s World Test Championship final versus Australia.
With the broadcast agreement between the BCCI and Star India having expired at the end of March, it will be interesting to see whether the BCCI floats a tender only for the Afghanistan series. As Shah hinted, the next four-year media rights tender will begin with India’s three ODIs versus Australia in September.
Home and Away format for WPL 2024
Meanwhile, confirming that the Women’s Premier League (WPL) will switch to a home-and-away format from its second edition in 2024, Shah also admitted that the BCCI is considering switching the WPL to the Diwali window.
“We are mulling the possibility of scheduling the WPL, in the home and away format, in the Diwali window; not two seasons in a year but just a different time window,” Shah said. “Women’s cricket now has a dedicated audience base and this number will only keep growing as we expect an encouraging turnout at the next WPL.