Sri Lanka will take on India in the first match of the Nidahas Trophy, the triangular Twenty20 International tournament also involving Bangladesh, which will be played from 6 March to 18 March 2018 at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium to mark the 70th anniversary of the island nation’s independence.
The three teams will play each other twice in a league phase and the top two teams will play the final – all the matches will be played under lights.
Sri Lanka, who had an indifferent 2017 across all formats, have had a good start to 2018. On their recent tour of Bangladesh they won the triangular one-day international series that also featured Zimbabwe and then won the two-Test series 1-0 and the bilateral T20I series 2-0. Bangladesh, on the other hand, have started the calendar year badly, losing all three series at home to Sri Lanka.
India, meanwhile, have had an outstanding run in limited-overs internationals in South Africa. They held on to the No.1 position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings despite losing the three-Test series 2-1, and have since beaten South Africa 5-1 in a six-ODI series and are 1-0 up in the three-match T20I series.
The visiting teams will reach Sri Lanka on 4 March, and while Bangladesh will play a warm-up game ahead of the tournament, India will enter the series without any tour games.
The Nidahas Trophy was also played in 1998 to celebrate the golden jubilee of Sri Lanka’s independence. On that occasion, Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand had played a three-way ODI series, which India won by defeating Sri Lanka in the final in front of a capacity crowd.
March 6: Sri Lanka vs India
March 8: Bangladesh vs India
March 10: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
March 12: Sri Lanka vs India
March 14: India vs Bangladesh
March 16: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
March 18: Final
(All matches to be played at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.)