The opening T20I encounter between India and Sri Lanka was reportedly under threat after reports emerged that the emergency declared by the Sri Lankan government can affect the match. Due to clashes between the Buddhists and the Muslims, the government decided to declare a state of emergency to control the surging incident of communal violence in the island nation. However, refuting the claims of the emergency impacting the game, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has clarified that the match will go on as per schedule as the situation in Colombo is absolutely normal unlike candy, where the clashes have been reported.

India will square off their Nidahas Trophy campaign against Sri Lanka in Colombo later today. The Rohit Sharma led fresh Indian team will be facing a daunting challenge in the T20 tri-series which will be contested between Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. The tournament has been organized after a span of almost 20 years, to mark the seventy years of Sri Lanka’s independence. The last edition of the tournament was played in 1998 as an ODI series. Ahead of the opening game between India and hosts, the emergency declared by Sri Lanka was said to have put the match in a soup. Reports also claimed that amid growing tension between the two communities (Buddhists and the Muslims) in Kandy, the security of the Indian team was beefed up.

BCCI has now confirmed that Colombo, the venue for all the games remains unaffected and the match will go on as per the scheduled timing. “There have been reports of curfew and an emergency being called in Sri Lanka. The situation is in Kandy, not Colombo. After talking to concerned security,” BCCI was quoted as saying by the ANI.

Earlier BCCI announced the 15-man squad for the tri-series, resting a number of senior players to give exposure to fresh talent and avail the senior players a much-needed break after a gruelling South Africa tour which India finished by bagging both the ODI and the T20 series convincingly. Captain Virat Kohli, veteran MS Dhoni and pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah alongwith all-rounder Hardik Pandya were all dropped from the squad. Replacing them woud be rookie pacers Mohamed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, all-rounder Vijay Shankar and Washington Sundar. Rishab Pant was also picked for the important series and is likely to don the gloves for India.

In Virat Kohli’s absence, the batton to lead India’s charge was given to Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan was named his deputy for the tour. The tournament will see each team face each other twice. The final will be played on March 18. 

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India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj and Rishabh Pant (wk).

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Suranga Lakmal (vc), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya De Silva.

Here’s the Schedule of the Nidahas Trophy 2018:

March 6: Sri Lanka v India

March 8: Bangladesh v India

March 10: Sri Lanka v Bangladesh

March 12: India v Sri Lanka

March 14: India v Bangladesh

March 16: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka

March 18: Final

ALSO READ: Nidahas Trophy 2018: Captain Rohit Sharma rules out India as favourites, but confident about team’s chances


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