COLOMBO -  Sri Lanka will host India and Bangladesh for a T20 tri-series in March 2018 to celebrate their 70th year of independence. A Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) release confirmed seven T20Is to be played from March 8 to 20 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Each team will play each other twice before the final on March 20.

Called the Nidahas Trophy, the tri-series will also mark the 70th year for SLC. Board president Thilanga Sumathipala was the visionary behind the Nidahas Trophy in 1998 too, which marked the 50th year of the country's independence and involved India and New Zealand as the visiting teams. India had won the trophy then which was played as an ODI tri-series.

"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," BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said.

Sumathipala, too, expressed his optimism on the relevance of the series : "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."