India’s proposed white-ball series against Afghanistan may not push through due to scheduling conflicts. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is finding it challenging to fit the three-game ODI series between the World Test Championship final and a full-fledged series in the Caribbean involving two Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is. The original plan was to hold the three games from June 20 to 30, with the squad leaving for the Caribbean on July 7. However, with the Asia Cup expected to be confirmed in September, players may be deprived of rest ahead of the more critical World Cup in October-November.
The BCCI officials did not specify the reasons for the rethink, but one possible cause could be the end of the board’s broadcast deal with Disney Star, and the new tender has not come out yet. While there is a possibility of an interim arrangement, the board’s ability to get the right price ahead of a full-fledged tender for the bilateral series remains uncertain. Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) president Mirwais Ashraf is in India and may engage in talks with the BCCI over the short bilateral series.
Although a final decision has not been made, it looks doubtful at this stage, pending a last-minute change of heart. Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies (CWI) has sent a tentative schedule for the series in the Caribbean, but the BCCI has yet to sign off. Discussions between the two boards may take place during the WTC final in London, and the schedule could be released after that.