The start of the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy has been brought forward by two days and the event will now get underway on March 6 instead of March 8 as planned earlier.
India and Sri Lanka will play the curtain raiser of the event, with Bangladesh being the third participant in the competition. All games including the final will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS) and will start at 7 PM local time.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials confirmed that by preponing the tournament by two days, they will now be able to host the final on Sunday as compared to the earlier schedule which had the final slated for Tuesday.
Both the visiting teams will arrive in the island on March 4. While Bangladesh will play a warm-up game ahead of the tournament, India would begin the competition without any practice match.
The tournament comprising seven games is being conducted to celebrate Sri Lanka's 70th year of independence. SLC is expecting a financial windfall through the sale of television and marketing rights. SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala during a media briefing commented that the board was expecting a minimum of USD 6.5 million through the sale of rights.
The Nidahas Trophy played in 1998 to celebrate the country's golden jubilee of independence was between India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. The Asian neighbours reached the final and India while batting first posted 307 runs. Despite a 94-ball 105 by Aravinda de Silva, the hosts fell short by seven runs in front of a capacity crowd.
Nidahas Trophy itinerary [All games at R. Premadasa Stadium]:
March 6 - Sri Lanka vs India
March 8 - Bangladesh vs India
March 10 - Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
March 12 - India vs Sri Lanka
March 14 - India vs Bangladesh
March 16 - Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka
March 18 - Final