Three years after the Australian cricket board had decided that they had had enough of the tri-series jazz that was their home season’s ODI series, there could be an effort to revive the tournament. For the 2011-12 season, Australia will host India and Sri Lanka in the tri-series that will be played immediately at the end of India’s Test series against Australia.
Commercial demands, in all probability, had sounded the death knell for the tri-series in 2007-08, after it had been a part of the calendar for a total of 29 years. Started in 1978-79, there were few variations in the format, which had seen Australia host two other countries in a four-leg round-robin tournament. The two best sides played in the best-of-three final. India had beaten Australia in the final of the last such tournament that was featured three years ago.
The reasons behind the axing of this tournament had been the lack of crowds and television ratings for the games not involving the home team. Fortunately for the Australian board, the decision to reinstate the tri-series comes at the same time as when the Indians tour the country, which means that even with Australia not playing the games, the Indians audiences in Australia and across the world would be glued in to watch the world champions play in the series.
Sri Lanka will be the third team, which is a coincidence given that they had joined India and Australia the last time the tournament had been played as well.
It will now be interesting to see whether the Australian cricket board would want to treat this as a one-off or if they want to propel the idea forward. The revenues from a series involving India can hardly serve as a benchmark, which is why a wait-and-watch policy could be best-adopted by the board.
India’s tour of Australia will begin from December 26 with a Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and will go on till March 8.