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West Indies likely to play two Tests, three ODIs in India

Amol Karhadkar

September 2, 2013

Comments: 59 | Text size: A | A

Zaheer Khan survives a palpable lbw shout from Dale Steyn, South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 3rd day, December 28, 2010
India's tour of South Africa is getting eaten into from both sides © Associated Press
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A day after BCCI announced a proposal to host West Indies in November for a series that had never been mentioned in the ICC's Future Tours Programme, it appears that West Indies will play two Tests and three one-dayers in India.

A BCCI official confirmed with ESPNcricinfo that West Indies are set to play "two Tests and three ODIs starting in the first week of November". The final decision will be made once the tour, programme and fixtures committee finalises the dates in consultation with the West Indies Cricket Board. The itinerary of the tour is expected to be announced mid-September.

If West Indies are to play two Tests and three ODIs after India's home ODI series against Australia, which concludes on November 2, it would mean India cannot reach South Africa before November 30, for a series that was originally scheduled to begin on November 18 with a T20 against South African Invitation XI. Add to that the commencement of India's tour to New Zealand on January 19, which was originally supposed to be the last day of the South Africa tour, which gets trimmed further.

However, the official, who has been involved in negotiations with Cricket South Africa ever since BCCI objected to the itinerary eight weeks ago, reiterated that the South Africa tour was not put off. "We understand we have a commitment and we want to tour South Africa, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't safeguard our players' and board's interests," he said.

With the BCCI adhering to the players' demand of having "at least a week's break" between the South African and New Zealand tours, it appears that India's original South Africa tour of three Tests, seven ODIs and two Twenty20s will be pruned to two Tests, three ODIs and a solitary T20 and CSA may have no choice but to accept whatever BCCI offers.

Players' demands aside, the official also indicated that the ego problem that the BCCI representatives have had with their South African counterparts has been one of the hurdles while finalising the tour schedule. "Just because an FTP was announced many years ago doesn't mean you should announce the tour itinerary without even consulting us," the official said.

With time running out for CSA to finalise their domestic season's fixtures, it appears that the South Africa tour itinerary won't be sealed till the CSA officials bow down to the pressure exerted by the most influential body in world cricket.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Capricorn60 on (September 4, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

As an Indian fan, have mixed feelings on this. Unless one is looking through rose-tinted glasses or living in fantasy land, one has to accept Sachin is naturally well past his best and one has to be realistic in knowing he is unlikely to prosper against the likes of Steyn, Philander & Morkel - considering he also hasn't fared well against lesser attacks recently. Therefore if these Tests have been staged at this last minute as a last hurrah for Sachin & for him to gracefully say his goodbyes in front of his home crowd in reaching this 200 Tests milestone at the same time, then maybe the BCCI is doing the right thing in these circumstances as a tribute & recognition of Sachin's immense contribution to our beloved game of cricket.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2013, 23:42 GMT)

BCCI has been successful in getting away with this, lot of things at stake, but overlooked. They managed to bring in a WI series ahead of SA tour, bcz they dont like Lorgat and at the same time Sachin gets an opportunity to play infront his home fans with less or absolutely no pressure against dibly-dobly WI pace attack while playing his 200th Test. Imagine how great it would have been if Sachin scoring a ton against the no.1 Test team with likes of Styen, Philander, Morkel in 200th Test but opportunity denied to him by BCCI, in short they only mean Business, not Cricket. Shortened series against SA won't be that promisiing .

Posted by SandipManjrekar on (September 3, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

For those who wish to shame on BCCI for spoiling the Indian cricket forever and ever, have a look at this. SA's away Test series since 2003 to till date now are in PAK 2 Tests (2003/4), in NZL 3 Test (2003/4), SL 2 Test (2004), IND 2 Test (2004/5), WI 4 Test (2005), AUS 3 Test (2005/6), SL 2 Test (2006), PAK & BANGLA 2 Tests each (2007/8), IND 3 Test (2007/8), ENG 4 Test (2008), AUS 3 Test (2008/9), IND 2 Test (2009/10), WI 3 Test (2010, NZL3 Test (2011/12), ENG 3 Test(2012) & in AUS 3 Test (2012/13). Why did SA play a short series at away venue? Why should BCCI entertain unilateral itinerary by CSA? If CSA can think about home revenue, why not BCCI? What BCCI has done is within their rights & in the interest of IND cricket. Anyway Tendulkar is the highest run scorer by any foreign player in SA against SA since 1940 and he doesn't need WI or any team for his personal records. He is not willing to give up even after WI tour. BCCI critics should know that it's time to act by CSA only.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

what is the point of a two test match series?

Posted by dpeerwani on (September 3, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

It is heartening to see that, at the time of writing, 68% of 3,500 people in a Cricinfo poll voted that the tour to SA should have three tests, if nothing else. Very few people voted in favor of seven ODI's, which I totally agree with. Tests are the pinnacle of cricket and should always take precedence over meaningless bilateral ODI contests.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

I don't want to watch Sachin playing his 200th match against West Indies in India. It's like BCCI is doing favour to complete his 200 matches mile stone.I want to watch him to face world best attack, may be one last time. Who knows.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

This is not good news for cricket lovers. BCCI is coming with this idea for only pressurizing the legendary batsman to retire from Test cricket that's the only format he plays now. Home series in India, let's god play his 200 match and retire him. Shortening the SA tour is very bad decision. For a good test series, emerging shining of good players it's has to at least four match series. Earning money should not be only motive for the any series. This is not acceptable.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

The real losers are the fans here. For more than a year and a half I was waiting for the SA tour and thought there will be atleat 4 tests. This would have been the real deal(4 tests) to see how guys like Pujara and kohli would have performed and such a great learning experience for them. I understand finance, but please explain to me what good a meaningless 2 test series does.You cant say test cricket is priority and let it fade like this with meaningless series. Home or away, every test series should be for a min of 3 tests(Ideally it should be 4). I like the 5 test schedule for England but gutted that Steyn and co VS Pujara and Kohli will be shortened. And for god's sake, stop these utterly meaningless bilateral ODI series.

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