Lanka series: BCCI hopes new venues will bring in fans for Tests

MUMBAI: Two new venues, both from states where cricket is an "emerging game", could host two of the three Test matches during the home series against Sri Lanka later this year. 

Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Barsapara in Assam are the two venues that are tipped to host the Tests, the decision on which was to be taken by the BCCI's Tours and Fixtures Committee on Tuesday. 

None of the established Test centres have reportedly evinced any interest in hosting any of the three Test matches to be played during the upcoming home season against Sri Lanka, ostensibly because the Lankan team isn't what it used to be and there's no star player in the current team. 

While home Tests in the last season did not generate full houses at stadiums, the opening up of two new venues could just be the ray of hope in an otherwise dismal outlook for Test cricket in the country. And while the Tests themselves may not set the gate registers ringing, it can be hoped that these centres could get locals a taste of international cricket played on home soil.  

Other than helping the Indian cricket team tally up new records in what has been a totally mismatched contest, the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka has failed to attract much attention among fans, and the upcoming Lankan tour of India has thus far not generated much enthusiasm either. 

PTI quotes a BCCI official as saying that while Thiruvananthapuram and Barsapara are vying for Test matches, most of the bigger centres want either a T20 international or an ODI.