Australia want to play India more: Report

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India may play in Australia in four out of six years under the new future cricket tours programme, reports said on Friday.

Updated: October 23, 2009 16:52 IST
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India may play in Australia in four out of six years under the new future cricket tours programme, reports said here on Friday.

Under the current international playing schedule, Australia visit India for Tests or One-Day Internationals every year, while India tour here once every four years.

But Cricket Australia has agreed in principle to host the game's biggest drawcard, India, more often in the future, reports said.

Australia are to begin a seven-game one-day series against India in the western city of Vadodara on Sunday.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the deal is designed to ensure that world cricket's heavyweights -- Australia, India, South Africa and England -- play each other more often when the new international schedule comes into effect from 2012.

The newspaper said under the new arrangement, which it says has the provisional backing of the International Cricket Council, India would come to Australia more often, visiting for Tests one Australian summer and one-dayers the next.

"The objective has been to spread the quality of touring teams over the period so that we get better value for the fans," a CA spokesman told the Herald.

"If we get it right, we could have India touring here in four out of six years during the next FTP (Future Tours Programme) period."

The Herald said the benefit to Australia hosting India more regularly was the value of television rights to CA because of the huge, cricket-mad population on the subcontinent.

But the newspaper said the moves between the "big four" cricket-playing nations was expected to cause consternation among smaller cricket countries, among them Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies, looking for their own slice of the financial pie.

CA is facing a tough battle to sell this season's touring sides, the West Indies and Pakistan, to the Australian sporting public and the Herald said it was determined to attract a "marquee" team for future southern summers.

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