Time running out for Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati?

The two venues have been picked by the BCCI to host the limited overs matches between India and Australia, but no new venue can stage an international match without acquiring the ICC clearance.

Let alone the detailed itinerary, the mystery over whether Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati can actually stage their maiden international games allotted to them remains unresolved.   -  S. Manisha

The official broadcaster of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may have started airing the promos for India's limited overs series against Australia, scheduled to start on September 17. However, let alone the detailed itinerary, the mystery over whether Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati can actually stage their maiden international games allotted to them remains unresolved.

When the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary had announced the allotment of venues after the Tours, Programme and Fixtures committee met in Kolkata on August 1, he had assured that new stadia in the capital cities of Kerala and Assam will acquire the requisite clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in time for the matches to be staged.

However, there seems to have been little development in the last three weeks. Sportstar understands that even though the BCCI and the ICC are in touch, the date for the ICC's inspection committee is yet to be finalised. A BCCI executive remained confident that the BCCI will procure the necessary clearance in time for the games.

However, with time running out, it would be an embarrassing situation for the BCCI if the ICC unit finds either of the stadium failing to meet the standards set for an international venue. For the record, no new venue can stage an international match without acquiring the ICC clearance.

It is no wonder that the BCCI has still not announced the itinerary for the series against Australia, which will include five ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals.

In fact, even when Choudhary announced the venues, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) had communicated its apprehension on the need to add new venues in a hurry. According to Tours, Programme and Fixtures committee member, Kerala was allotted the ODI according to the BCCI's rotation policy. Only when it realised that the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, the traditional international venue in Kerala, would be unavailable since it will be hosting the Under-17 Football World Cup did Thiruvanthapuram's new stadium enter the fray.