Special Correspondent

Mumbai: The BCCI has told the International Cricket Council (ICC) that India will not be part of the Champions Trophy after the Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata host the event towards the end of this year.

The BCCI Vice-President Lalit Modi also said that India would now play Australia on a regular basis. "Australia will come to India in October 2007 and play seven one-day internationals, in October 2008 to play four Test matches and in October 2009 to play 7 or eight one-day internationals. India will tour Australia in 2008 and 2009 to play a Test series and a tri-series. We are also scheduling programmes with England, Pakistan and other countries. We will announce a four year calendar in New Delhi on January 23," he said.

"India will now play 12 Tests and 30 one-day internationals in a year. This is a ballpark figure. We might exceed it by a few matches. What this means is that India will be play 48 Tests and 120 one-day internationals in four years."

He also said that India and Pakistan would play two official one-day internationals in Abu Dhabi on April 18 and 19, the proceeds of which would be donated to the earthquake victims in Pakistan and the Kashmir valley in India.

According to Mr. Modi the cricket boards of India and Pakistan will also play a series of one-day internationals at neutral venues where there is huge following for Indian and Pakistan cricket.

Big money

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given finishing touches to the tender documents for the media rights up to March 2010 and the same will be placed before its working committee in New Delhi on January 23 for approval. Announcing the same here on Monday the BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi said, "the threshold sum for a composite media rights for four years (up to March 2010) is US$350 million (around Rs. 1,550 crores)."

The BCCI hopes to close out all media rights by February 10. The media rights include a host of components like television, radio (medium wave and FM), internet and broadband, all territory wise, in order to meet domestic and worldwide interest.

"Tenders will be floated for composite media rights and bifurcating components. We have not decided to issue tenders for mobile telephony. There will be a separate tender for marketing rights for Prasar Bharati with whom according to a Cabinet resolution revenue will be shared on a 75-25 per cent basis by BCCI. If cumulative bids for the components exceed the composite floor price of US$350 million than we will go for it," said Mr. Modi.

The BCCI has also decided to take charge of producing pictures. "We will be inviting tenders from world-class production companies. We will produce top class pictures and deliver high definition feeds to television companies. There will be many value additions. We will have our own panel of anchors and commentators in multiple languages like English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali to start with. The same will apply to radio broadcasts," said Mr. Modi.

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