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India-OZ likely to play 3-match ODI series in America in '07

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MUMBAI: After Abu Dhabi (DLF Cup) and Malaysia (tri-series), the next offshore cricket venue for the Indian cricket team will likely be in North America.

Indian cricket board vice-president Lalit Modi told Indiantelevision.com that an in-principle agreement had been reached for a three-match series between India and Australia to be held in North America in June 2007, just ahead of India's tour of England in July.

Modi offered no other details except to say that he would be flying out to the US next week to finalise things.

If a report filed by Cricket World proves correct, the three matches will be held in Brooklyn, New York.

The report cites the Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, the first municipal airport in the US, as the venue for the three New York games, which has recently undergone a $38 million renovation to house a new sports and entertainment complex.

Zee Sports acquired the global media rights for all matches that India will play in non-ICC member countries with a huge $ 219.15 million bid. As part of the deal 25 matches will be played over a period of 5 years with an average of 5 matches per year. The global media rights comprise television, radio and Internet rights. The rights are for a period of five years from 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2011.

The way the deal breaks up is that for the second year, Zee's payout commitment to the BCCI is $ 6.03 million per match, which means that Zee Sports would have to generate a little over $ 18 million from the event all told, just to break even on it.

From the North American market at least, Zee would be expecting to extract a significant proportion of its investment from pay-per-view.

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