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England-India series cleared to go ahead

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016

The first Test between England and India is set to go ahead as planned after a financial stand-off between the home cricket board and the Supreme Court was resolved.

Reports surfaced on the eve of the first Test of five in Rajkot that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might have to cancel the fixture if the court did not release sufficient funds to put it on.

But that was avoided when the Supreme Court confirmed on Tuesday - a day before the first Test was to begin - that 5.87 million rupees ($A114,460) would be made available from BCCI accounts to ensure the match went ahead.

According to reports in India, the court also confirmed the remainder of the five-Test and following three one-day and Twenty20 international series would be suitably financed, as well as the England team's costs of touring.

The BCCI last week wrote to the England team management to reveal it wasn't able to commit to paying for the tourists' "hotel, travel and various other arrangements".

New Zealand's trip to India was also the subject of such brinkmanship before their opening game, after which no match was either postponed or abandoned.

The situation again surfaced just 24 hours before the England series after BCCI lawyer Kapil Sibal was reported by NDTV to have told the court: "If funds are not released there won't be a cricket match tomorrow, and it may be cancelled."

The BCCI is encountering difficulties after the Lodha Committee, appointed following corruption scandals at the Indian Premier League, has assumed control of its finances and made recommendations for new governance policies.

After last week's letter was received by the tourists' tour manager Phil Neale, an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman described the team's situation as "business as usual".

There was also no suggestion the matter was concerning India captain Virat Kohli's during his pre-match news conference.

Instead, he was primarily required to concern himself with his and India's recent record against England, who have beaten the new world No.1 team in three successive Test series.

"We know England is a side who came to India last time and played well, so we're not going to take anything for granted," Kohli said.

"Although we are playing some really good cricket, you cannot ignore the opposition altogether. It's about having the right balance of not getting too over-confident but at the same time not giving too much importance to the opposition."

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