KCA considering swapping matches

After bowing to pressure and virtually agreeing to shift the India-West Indies ODI in November from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala Cricket Association is now considering swapping matches and bringing in Australia early next year.

Heavy rain in Thiruvananthapuram last November made the series-deciding T20 International between India and New Zealand into an eight-over shootout, and with the India-West Indies ODI scheduled for November 1, the KCA is worried that rain would mar the match once again.   -  AFP

After bowing to pressure and virtually agreeing to shift the India-West Indies ODI in November from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala Cricket Association is now considering swapping matches and bringing in Australia early next year.

Heavy rain in Thiruvananthapuram last November made the series-deciding T20 International between India and New Zealand into an eight-over shootout, and with the India-West Indies ODI scheduled for November 1, the KCA is worried that rain would mar the match once again.

“There is a threat of rain in November and it will be evening rain season. So I’m planning to ask the BCCI whether we can swap this match with another one early next year when Australia tours India,” KCA secretary Jayesh George told Sportstar on Friday.

“Last year, we were supposed to host Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram in December and Cuttack was to host New Zealand but since there was a festival in Odisha, the BCCI changed the venues.

“We will discuss this at our AGM on Saturday and then we will write to the BCCI regarding this.”

However, with the venues for the limited-over series against Australia already decided, the chances of a change are slim.

The heavy external pressure, from football fans and sports and political bigwigs which virtually forced the KCA to move the November ODI to the State capital, is expected to dominate the association’s general body meeting.

“My worry is not this West Indies match. What if I get a match in March or April when the ISL is not there in Kochi? What happens then?” asked Jayesh.

“We have put in a lot of efforts, poured in a lot of money. My apprehension is whether we would be losing Kochi as a cricket venue, not fighting against football or anything.”

The KCA officials had discussed their proposal to have their own cricket stadium in Kochi with the Kerala Sports Minister A.C. Moideen in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday and he has assured them of the government’s help and support.

“That, the Sports Minister also felt, would be a permanent solution to our problem,” said Jayesh.