September 14 - Britain are set to be invited to take part in a basketball tournament in India next summer designed to coincide with the 2010 Commonwealth Games and which will be an important part of their build-up for the London 2012 Olympics.

World governing body FIBA are planning the special tournament to coincide with the Games in New Delhi after the Indian organising committee controversially cut basketball from its final schedule.

That would give Britain the chance to add to their international experience as they build for the 2012 London Olympics, although it remains to be seen if they could send a full-strength team.

After impressing with some battling performances in the European Championships last week, Britain are hoping to learn in December they have been awarded a wild card slot for the 2010 World Championships in Turkey, as reported on insidethegames yesterday.

Failing that, they would have to spend next summer trying to qualify for the next EuroBasket in Lithuania in 2011, and either scenario could lead to fixture congestion which would affect the players they could take to India.

The basketball tournament is likely to be played in Bangalore in early August, a full two months before the Commonwealth Games, but FIBA hope the event will benefit from the strong media presence expected in India.

A spokesman for the FIBA said: "Since the very beginning, FIBA has informed the Commonwealth Games Federation of our intention to organise our own championships since basketball is no longer part of the programme for the Commonwealth Games.

"The FIBA Commonwealth Championship for men will take place for sure from 3rd to 8th August 2010 and, as of today, most probably in Bangalore.

"Bangalore is 99.99 per cent the venue as of today, but it is not 100 per cent confirmed yet.

"In the hypothetical and unlikely case that it doesn't take place in Bangalore, it would be in Delhi."

The field would be led by Commonwealth champions Australia, who won their crown at the 2006 Games where basketball was first played as a Commonwealth sport.

Also expected to play are Canada, New Zealand and Nigeria.

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