The R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo is set to host the entire limited-overs series between India and Sri Lanka in July.
With the COVID-19 situation under control in the island nation, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is eager to host three ODIs and as many T20Is at just one venue to ensure there is no travel involved and the bio-bubble remains secure.
“We plan to host the entire series at one venue. As of now, it has been decided that the Premadasa Stadium will host the fixtures. Obviously, it depends on how the situation is around that time,” Professor Arjuna de Silva, SLC’s Administrative Committee chairman, told Sportstar on Monday.
The Indian team is expected to reach Sri Lanka on July 5 for the series.
According to the itinerary by SLC – which the BCCI has agreed to – the ODI series is set to begin on July 13 after the team completes its mandatory week-long quarantine. The T20I series will be played between July 22 and 27.
“As of now, we will stick to the protocol where the players will have to undergo hard quarantine for the first three days and in the next four days, they will be allowed to train,” de Silva said.
“However, if there are any revised guidelines by the health ministry around that time, we will have to follow that,” he added.
Sri Lanka successfully hosted England and Bangladesh recently and De Silva is confident things will go smoothly against India, which is set to tour the country after three years, as well.
“During the series against England and Bangladesh, we took the help of the Sri Lanka Army commandos to maintain bubble security. We have all the help from the health ministry, with about 10 doctors taking care of the bubble, so our medical team is large. We followed a similar thing during the England series and that was successful, so we will stick to it. The situation, however, is fluid, but we hope to get things done smoothly,” he said.
It has, however, been clarified that the entire tournament will be played in empty stadiums. “With the COVID situation fluid, we cannot allow fans yet, so all the matches will be closed-door affairs,” De Silva said.
While the Indian Test team will be in England around that time, the Sri Lanka-bound side could feature the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Prithvi Shaw among others.
The team could also be coached by Paras Mhambrey, in the absence of Ravi Shastri and the regular support staff. However, there is also a buzz that Rahul Dravid might be asked to travel with the team.
“Nothing has been finalised yet. The BCCI is looking at multiple factors and a decision will be taken well in time,” a Board official said.
India team’s arrival: July 5
ODI series: July 13, 16, 19
T20I series: July 22, 24, 27.
India team’s departure: July 28
Tentative venue: R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo