Even as concerns were raised over "overdose" of cricket between India and Sri Lanka ahead of the first Test of the ongoing three-match series in Kolkata, it has emerged that the two countries will be facing each other again in March 2018.
Seven matches in Colombo
Sri Lanka will be the hosting a T20I tri-series, titled "Nidahas Trophy", involving India and Bangladesh on the sidelines of their 70th year of independence in 2018, which also be Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) 70th year.
Seven matches will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo between March 8 and March 20, SLC confirmed while announcing the fixtures on Friday, November 17. Each team will be featuring in a double-legged round-robin group stage format. The top two teams will then play the final.
India's participation in what was earlier called the "Independence Cup" was confirmed as early as in January 2017 by SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala, who had reportedly revealed that prime ministers of the two countries met and gave the nod to the cricket series.
Notably, Virat Kohli's men will travel to Sri Lanka for the tri-series right after their tour to South Africa, which ends on February 24.
Meanwhile, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri on Friday said India are "privileged" to touring Sri Lanka during the landmark occasion and that the Asian powerhouses instantly accepted SLC's invitation.
"We are privileged to be a part of Sri Lanka's 70th year celebrations, there is no closer friend to the BCCI than Sri Lanka [and Bangladesh] and when Mr. Sumathipala first floated this invitation, there was almost instant agreement that the Indian Team would participate for this reason," Johri said, as quoted by "Cricbuzz".
SLC president Sumathipala added: "70 years is a long journey, and one that needs to be commemorated and celebrated. We are happy that our closest neighbours, who share more or less the same journey of independence are joining us in this celebration, which we believe will be a milestone and an augur of the great things to come in the annals of cricket."
Meanwhile, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said it was important to analyse "overdose" of his team playing the same opposition in Sri Lanka during the press conference on the eve (Wednesday, November 15) of the ongoing first Test.
It has not even been two months since India were involved in a full tour - 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and one-off T20I - in Sri Lanka but the number one-ranked Test side have already started a fresh series with their neighbours. Kohli's men also travelled to Sri Lanka in 2015 for a three-Test series, which was followed by a limited-overs series between the two sides in India in 2016.
"This question will be better answered by fans who watch the game. I don't know if there's too much cricket being played or there's repetition of same series happening or not. For us, as I said, it is about playing for the country. And we do what we're presented with every time a new series comes up," Kohli said.
He added: "This analysis can be done. It definitely has to be taken into consideration, because you don't want the fans to go away, not watching the game."