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Aussies given assurances about India tour

AAP logoAAP 5/01/2017 Rob Forsaith

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has been given assurances from his Indian equivalent there will be no schedule changes to the Test tour.

Australia's next assignment in the whites is almost certainly the sport's toughest: facing the world No.1 Test side on their own soil.

Steve Smith's side are set to start a four-Test series in Pune on February 23, with Bangalore, Ranchi and Dharamsala hosting the other matches.

However, those venues and dates were reported to be one of many issues in a state of flux during a period of uncertainty at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

India's top court recently removed the BCCI's president and secretary, as the fallout from an inquiry into the organisation's handling of an Indian Premier League corruption scandal continues.

"There has been some speculation about whether venues or dates or whatever might change," Sutherland said on Thursday.

"I had some correspondence overnight with my equivalent at the BCCI (Rahul Johri, the board's first executive officer).

"Based on that communication, I don't see that there is any concern about the schedule of matches going ahead as is in the calendar now.

"I just really sought to understand whether there was any uncertainty in his mind. He's clarified that there's not, that everything is going ahead as scheduled."

Eyebrows were raised when the schedule was originally announced as three of the four grounds have never hosted a Test.

That includes Dharamsala, the scenic oval nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas that recently-sacked BCCI president Anurag Thakur helped build and bring international cricket to.

Thakur became president of Himachal Pradesh cricket association at the age of 25 in 2000, the same year he made his first-class debut for the state.

Dharamsala, the northern mountain town better known as the home of the Dalai Lama, was awarded a series of World Twenty20 matches last year.

It included one of the event's most high-profile games between India and Pakistan, but that fixture was moved for security reasons on the eve of the tournament.

Thakur's exit led to speculation Dharamsala could be stripped of its first ever Test, but the venue will be part of CA's routine pre-tour reconnaissance trip.

CA's head of security Sean Carroll and other officials are expected to fly out this weekend, assessing procedures and inspecting facilities at the four venues

Australia have lost their past nine Tests in Asia, while they have won just one of their past nine Test series in India.

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