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Commentator, television presenter and writer

The BCCI owes people an explanation

The board must make clear why India's Test series in South Africa has been curtailed, or everyone will be justified in assuming it was all done for one cricketer

Harsha Bhogle

September 6, 2013

Comments: 154 | Text size: A | A

The players decide to go off, leaving the series tied 1-1, South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 5th day, January 6, 2011
Sachin Tendulkar v Dale Steyn in Cape Town in 2011 was one that will go down as a classic, but the upcoming series has been crippled before it has started © Associated Press
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Some might think it is the by-product of games played on another field, some might believe that he is the primary reason, but at the end of it all, Sachin Tendulkar will play his 200th Test in India, most likely at the Wankhede Stadium, where he scored a first-class century on debut.

You'll never know the real reason, the BCCI won't say anything, and Tendulkar, well, he tends to keep his cards close to his chest, doesn't he?

If indeed the upheaval in itineraries is to allow Tendulkar to play that 200th at home, then I'm afraid it is wrong. It is an astonishing landmark, even for a staggering cricketer, and let's be honest, we don't know if he asked for it, but if everyone began moving schedules around to accommodate people, there would be more variables than in a political scenario. But if this is to allow him to play his last game at the Wankhede Stadium (and again, Tendulkar hasn't even indicated thus), I think we can look at it differently. Yes, the argument against moving schedules for one person is still valid, but we are an emotional people and to that extent our sporting ethos is a bit different, and we are talking of someone who has given more joy to Indians than almost anyone else. A farewell before the fans is not wrong. It is, in fact, quite a nice thing to do. And it would give all those who benefit from the Tendulkar industry one last opportunity as well.

But there is, in fact, a more valid, more commercial, reason for playing a series at home. The BCCI has very lucrative television and sponsorship deals, and anyone who invests a large amount has a commercial interest too. Marketing and promotion plans are created around sponsorship, income forecasts are made, profit and loss statements can be affected. You cannot tell people who are heavily invested that there will be no activity this year. But you also cannot tell that to the South Africans, because they will argue it should have been thought of earlier. After all everyone is committed to the Future Tours Programme and other countries are entitled to make their plans, have their marketing tie-ups and protect their profit and loss statements too. So if India need to play a series at home it shouldn't come at the cost of another.

It seems fairly clear, though, that there is a third reason why South Africa will only face India for a very short tour. Two countries that were fairly close allies - South Africa helped India take the IPL there within three weeks in 2009 - have now drifted so far apart that I suspect neither is picking up the phone and speaking to the other. Clearly, the BCCI is not in love with Haroon Lorgat, who now heads Cricket South Africa, and whispers of unfair and unreasonable actions during the 2011 World Cup (when he was head of the ICC) have been around for a while now. So there is a suggestion that this is indeed a personal tit-for-tat.

I don't know how true that is but the fact remains that the issues are coming in the way of a marquee series. Test cricket is in peril, there are more romantics than realists in its corner, and more words than cheques come its way. For Test cricket to survive and hopefully to flourish, it needs as many contests among the best teams as possible. South Africa v India is World No. 1 v World No. 3. The last time these two teams played in South Africa they produced some brilliant cricket, and Tendulkar v Steyn in Cape Town will always be among the game's more lasting memories. It isn't just contests like these but the build-up too that draws people in. A two-Test series is like settling down after starters only to be presented with the bill.

It is imperative that personal differences do not come in the way of cricket. If the BCCI has a valid reason, it is important that the fans know of it, because if it doesn't, everyone in Indian cricket has to stand up to the outrage. There have been times in the past, like with the DRS, when the BCCI has taken an unpopular stand that has been proven to be largely right. But by not coming out with its argument in time the board let the world assume that the objection came from the captain and Tendulkar alone.

Solutions can sometimes be found if you put the non-negotiables first and try working around them. On this matter, three Test matches in South Africa should be the non-negotiable. And hopefully that 200th is not the reason for all this change.

Harsha Bhogle is a television presenter, writer, and a commentator on IPL and other cricket. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by abhitupe on (September 11, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

Absolutely agree with Harsha. Have been Tendulkar fan for all my life. But, if these are arm twisting tactics or tit for tat, then this is not good for cricket. Arguments may flow that MCC and Australia also used the same in their days, but thats no logic for me. It absolutely absurd, to reschedule the series. I would urge all that these things work because we disagree with this and dont do anything about it. My stand would be if they dont come out with possible fair response. I should not watch cricket, let them feel brunt of it. But I know most of the us will conviniently forget all these things and still crowd the stadiums, watch it on TV/online, follow it on cricinfo. And this should mean every cricket fan boycotts it. And am not here to contest who is bigger fans or board. Cricket is bigger and should get due respect. Even if it is at inconvenience of fans. I question myself whether I will be following WI series or not. But, I would take a stand principally and not follow.

Posted by vishmanc on (September 10, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

For me Tendulkar himself should say and take a stand on this. Playing 200 test Match at home or on foreign Soil, he will be the best to answer. What He wants.

Posted by jay57870 on (September 8, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

Harsha - It's all speculation! As Bhogle admits: "You'll never know the real reason" - let alone the real facts - behind BCCI's actions to curtail the SA tour. To suggest Tendulkar might be the "primary reason" without evidence has no honest merit. Sachin's a man of integrity & loyalty. He values his privacy. It's his prerogative to talk to the media or not. This is a BCCI-CSA feud, so why drag Sachin into it? Let Lorgat & Patel "work out the best possible schedule" ('non-negotiable' really?) when they meet in Dubai. More important, BCCI owes an explanation on far more contentious issues facing Indian cricket. Bhogle needs to delve into why BCCI is still not coming clean on the fixing scandal. The 'independent inquiry' was a farce. The courts have challenged BCCI. The conflict-of-interest issue, especially CSK, remains unresolved. It's about Srinivasan - NOT Tendulkar! It's about governance & accountability: That's a 'non-negotiable'! Yes, "The BCCI must do right by the fans", Harsha!!

Posted by old_guard on (September 8, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

It's so sad, but the the game of cricket is dying. We may not see it among the gaudy displays of the IPL and numerous meaningless one day tournaments, but the sad reality is that commercial interests have completely taken over.

As a proud Indian it sickens me that my own board has been the architect of cricket's demise, with their almost fanatical and truly deplorable greed. BCCI, you're killing the goose that laid the golden egg. You've been slowly doing it for a while, and now you're denying us a decent opportunity to enjoy one of the only two overseas tours that actually mean something from an Indian perspective.

Posted by AbhijeetC on (September 7, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

@Sandeep Albert Mathias

I think you should check FTP first and then comment. I don't mind playing against SA in Nov. but they have series against Pakistan in UAE. (note to ESPNcricinfo: how could you add this comment in featured section? first three arguments are baseless as you know SA can't play India in Nov.)

2. To be honest I don't mind if it is SA or WI, as long as Sachin is playing his 200th Test at home. (higher revenue/ good for promotion, marketing, I am not talking this our of love for Sachin).

3. I respect Dravid and Laxman's decision, I knew Dravid would never announce his retirement before his final series, he is not that kind of person. but I would want Sachin to announce retirement at least before his final test.

4. mark my words, If sachin scores even one century in this 2 test series, He will be on board playing for SA. (people like it not), As Shastri said he might play next year's lords test match. You never know.

Thanks,

Posted by alarky on (September 7, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

The danger that the BCCI is risking to the future of these young Indian talents is to have them going to SA to battle against the world's most lethal bowling attack, without proper preparation! Then if they fail in their first one or two innings, and not have enough matches to recover their dashed confidence, they usually unfairly drop them! Next thing, the competition in India is so stiff that they may never get another chance again - thus, sadly ending the international career of lots of more gifted and talented players than Terndulkar! The thing is that no one ever did this to Tendulkar ! In fact, he's the only cricketer who has never had any sort of pressure put on him to affect his play! Yet, with all the time and opportunities given to him, when fairly analysed, he is a "just above" average batsman! If he wants to play his 200th match at home, then call up SA to India; play the first 2 matches there, and let the youths get the confidence to face Steyn and Co. in the next 3 in SA!

Posted by jackthelad on (September 7, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

The main problem is that the BCCI has so much financial clout, and has got away with so many doubtful actions because of it, that they have developed delusions of grandeur and believe they are bigger than world cricket and can do what they want. Something needs to be done by all the other cricketing nations and their organ the ICC to curtail this before it does irreparable damage to this most beautiful game.

Posted by sps21 on (September 7, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

@ SCC08 : Its not about sachin's 200th test...its a smoke screen created by BCCI to avoid the public backlash here in india. Real reason is lorghat who is much despised figure among the BCCI top brass. CSA went ahead and appointed him despite BCCI very public reservations. So now BCCI is just showing them who is the real boss! things will be back to normal once lorghat is cut to size.

As far as question of "500 trillion people" producing a quality test team is concerned: dont worry that day is not far off. india has improved a lot in last decade because now the cricket sports facilities in India are at par with Eng/Aus, processes are more evolved and talent is being groomed properly. ( Eng& Aus were aberation if you take long term trends) India is already an ODI powerhouse and now they have also started to look at tests more methodically. like grooming talent with lot of A/U-19 tours abroad. results will come slowly but suerly. We lost the Big 3 but didnt miss them!!

Posted by Arslan_Javed on (September 7, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

For me it would be far better for Great Sachin to face world number one team in their backyard and score there. A good 50 would be far valuable than 100 or 200 against Weaker WI attack on flat and placid wickets. May be a good record to have 100 or 200 in 200th Test but would be great if done against SA attack. On other hand playing against WI is not a surety to achieve such landmark as Sachin in recent form has failed against weakest NZ fast bowling attack even indian pitches.

Posted by sando31 on (September 7, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

What if Tendulkar got injured and couldn't play? That would be hilarious!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

Great article Harsha. In terms of talent, Sachin is always beleived to be second to Bradman but the way this is played, I am afraid he would be remembered for all the wrong reasons. How can he (known to be keeping country above self) even agree to curtailing the SA tour? Doesn't his role lie in grooming the youngsters on difficult tours like South Africa?

First he lingered around for his 100th century, now this controversy about the 200th test match. Even if he is assured of 200th test at Mumbai, its unlikely he will quit. For pure cricketing reasons and his test record over last 2 years, his place in the team could be debated but because we are emotional people, we debate about whether he should play in Mumbai or Kolkota rather than debating whether ICC's future test program should be honored or not. How can BCCI guarantee they will stick to ICC Test Championship when time comes?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 0:11 GMT)

Come on BCCI, what are you doing??? SA VS. IND series was one of the most anticipated test series of the year and please don't try to curtail it. I as a Neutral fan (From NEPAL), would like this series to kick off.

Posted by Kulaputra on (September 7, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

Someone needs to say this. Sachin has gone way past sell by date. I am sure he should be dropped. He is a great player but his greatness is diminishing every passing hour that he is not dropped. Records that are contrived like Kapil's passing Hadlee or Sachin's hundred hundreds are no records.

To move a series for Sachin to play at Wankhede is beyond belief. Guess what I am turning off the TV for such a test.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

Well said Harsha. The BCCI should really be answerable to stakeholders that make it so powerful - the Indian public. Even as an Indian, I am appalled by the fact that BCCI has gone so far as to meddle into South African appointments and also get so petty by rearranging FTPs. And this is just the icing on the cake. Allowing Sachin these special gestures. Plain disgusting. If he has to go, he must go, like Dravid did. Gracefully and without unnecessary fanfare. Shame on both.

Posted by SCC08 on (September 6, 2013, 22:58 GMT)

I can see the next BCCI instruction - please only bowl underhand to Tendulkar when he's 50+ years and playing in his 500th test.

Posted by SCC08 on (September 6, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

@Harsha - the rest of the cricket world seems to agree that DRS works just fine, perhaps a problem with the Umpires utilizing it but the system works well. And once again...... BCCI doesn't get to change ICC rules.

Posted by Dashgar on (September 6, 2013, 22:24 GMT)

This is definitely about Lorgat, not Tendulkar. The Sachin 200th is the spin to distract Indian fans from being at all angry with their board.

Posted by SCC08 on (September 6, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

Proteas cricket fan here! Need some explaining please... Apart from India / BCCI mixing in our internal affairs ie CSA election, mixing up tour schedules to allow Tendulkar to reach milestones at home, choosing when to apply cricket laws (Technology).... Remind me who runs cricket again, the ICC or BCCI? One more thing India, remember your dominance is based upon a grossly superior population compared to the rest of the cricketing world and therefore greater marketing appeal.. Dominance in numbers clearly doesn't show in your talent pool - 5000 trillion people +- and you still can't produce a test team capable to touring.

Posted by Roshan_P on (September 6, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

@AbhijeetC - You're clearly a fan of Tendulkar before a fan of cricket. None of your points make any sense whatsoever. Here's why: 1. India's last series has been against Australia at home and England at home before that. 2. SA value Test cricket more than India does. 3. The point is to play against quality opposition. I would not mind sacricing one Test to ensure a Test or two more against SA. 4. 2-0 and 3-0 are the exact same, apart from 3-0 means they had more experience against SA away from home, which is better. 5. Sachin has been out of form for more than 2 years and he is now 40. There is little or no chance of him coming back to form. The BCCI have scheduled his 200th Test against a poor side at home in the hope he will play well.

Sachin should have retired ages ago. Dravid retired and made way for Chetty Pujara, who now has the second highest Test average of all time (he just needs to be tested away from home). Tendulkar should do likewise to allow a better player to prosper.

Posted by Jitesh85 on (September 6, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

As usual good article Harsha, always a pleasure to read.....On a lighter note, one of the positives out of this whole mess is that for a change BCCI approached West Indies and not Srilanka (the usual backfills)!!!! :))

Posted by mrgupta on (September 6, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

@Harsha, this was least expected from you. Trying to put everything on Sachin is just easy isn't it? And we call you Cricket expert! You are only trying to capitalize on the hype. Really disappointed after reading this article.

Posted by kal0408 on (September 6, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

Harsha, Have you ever seen BCCI giving a statement about what they have done? The board has taken cricket fans in India for granted. They think they don't need to answer anybody as they are the law makers when it comes to cricket in India. Unfortunately fans doesn't have a voice to say why this is done this way? May be time for fans to press a case to include BCCI in RTI act.

Posted by ok2307 on (September 6, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

Come on Harsha - I always liked your views on the air and your columns. Not this article though. Although I hate to see Sachin Tendulkar on the field these days I would be surprised if he asked or influenced BCCI to move the schedule for him. Let us not doubt that. It is not fair to bring such a thought to the table but well when someone drags himself well past the use by date people start thinking in different directions. I hope the "once upon a time" maestro either retires or is dropped after he plays his 200th test.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 17:47 GMT)

A good job Don Bradman showed a bit more dignity than this when ending his career in Test Cricket. Maybe he should have played one more specially arranged Test, scored the 4 runs needed to reach both an average of 100.00 & been the first batsman to 7,000 Test runs and then declared the innings closed and not batted in the second innings. Yes, he'd have had the milestones, but at what price to his reputation & legacy?

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

Very nice article ..... i think it is not fair to tinker with the ftp just for one man...... Curtailing SA tour for that is even more ridiculous thing. I mean IND-SA series in SA is once in a four year affair and everybody,who loves cricket is anticipating a close-fought competitive series this time. Seriously, Only 2 Tests is like settling down after starters only to be presented with the bill. Scrap the 2 tests against WI and play a full 4 test series with SA, Come on BCCI, get your head out of only money making and start thinking about passionate Indian cricket lovers too.

Posted by stormy16 on (September 6, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

If there is one thing that irritates me is administrators holding the game to ransom and being bigger than the players and the fans. However, this could be an exception where the administrators are actually doing something to accommodate the players wishes and fans wishes. There is little doubt that watching Sachin playing his 200th game at the Wankedi stadium is as close to heaven for most fans, players and Sachin himself. So not sure what all the fuss is about after all this is what everyone wants except may be Steyn and Morkel who would love to have this played out on a juicy Wanderers wicket!

Posted by mrmonty on (September 6, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

This is the kind of speculation that happens pre-season, where every non-event is dissected (as in this article) beyond relevance. So, India will play two series back to back! What is the big deal? Why conflate the Sachin's 200th test with BCCI's tussles with other bodies? And, the BCCI doesn't owe anyone an explanation. If fans don't like to watch the Ind-WI series before Ind-SA series, they can step outside and enjoy the air.

Posted by Actioncricketer on (September 6, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

Cricket is a for profit business ultimately. In this case BCCI is a customer for CSA since they bring the largest revenue for CSA. No company hires a CEO who is hated by your biggest customer EVEN if he is the best CEO you can hire. CSA should have worked with BCCI on their objections. That is what I would do with my customer. I must say CSA goofed up big time. I don't think Haroon Lorgat is worth losing ten's of millions of dollars. At least, he has not shown that level of ability after he has been hired.

Posted by 18_Till_I_Die on (September 6, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

Curious Questions ...

Has Sachin indicated that 200th Test will be his last test...? if not .. whats the fuss... that he wants to achieve that feat in India....?

If he wanted to achieve this milestone in India... then why the "biggest" achievement of Hundred 100's were not rescheduled?

Why does Sachin has to open his cards...? Isn't he allowed to keep what he is thinking to himself...? BCCI is a public body (I guess so)... shouldn't they explain... ?

@AsherCA ... I hope your comments are as a Cricket Fan ... and not reflected for just an individual... "Begged ?" ... please help me understand ... the facts...? srry I have little less knowledge about the facts you have... could you please share ....

Posted by AbhijeetC on (September 6, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

dear Harsha,

I don't see any problem changing series, here is why:

1. India did not have single test in Indian season, So from revenue point of view a small series with WI is good thing for BCCI 2. Sachin is about to play 200th test, it would be a big draw if he plays in India, If he plays in SA....you know how many people in SA actually attend test cricket. Image Sachin walking out to bat in empty stands in SA (Pathetic) 3. If India vs SA series is curtailed for 2 tests, I am not complaining as India is actually playing 1 test more in same period of time (total 4) 4. 2 test in SA should be enough as I think it is better to loose 2-0 than 3-0 (though deep down inside I hope it is in India's favor but I should live in real world) 5.if Sachin finds his form, then he can play this entire season, and if not, he can gracefully retire in front of home crowd (I think this must have been communicated) and honestly I don't want Sachin to be retired the way Dravid and Laxman retired Thanks,

Posted by jimbond on (September 6, 2013, 14:43 GMT)

Harsha seems to have forfeited his management degree- his analytical skills are really substandard. Where did the news suggest that the rescheduling was done for Tendulkar. I was under the impression that the rescheduling was done for Lorgat. Yes, the public need an explanation of why the series was rescheduled. But bringing Tendulkar into it is silly.

Posted by pull_shot on (September 6, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

3 odi's says it all d reasons for wi tour it is simple bcci want to trim d series therefore revenue of csa and I think csa has expected it that's why they declare schedule with out consulting bcci.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Another good one from Mr. Harsha Bhogle. Gavaskar is still remembered for his 87 or 97 in his last test at Bangalore, where the ball was turning square. We all remember Tendulkar for his big knock at Sarjah against Australia, the way he took on Shane Warne and also as the man who travelled to Bangladesh to get his 100th international hundred.. If he gone to SA & played his 200th Test against Dale Styen & company & scored even 50 on a bouncy pitch with the new look Indian team- it would have been great. But arranging for one man to play his 200th test against a team like WI on Indian pitch where the ball does not bounce above knee-it is going to be laughing matter. At the end of the day if he fails it will be very embarrassing for him or even if he scores a hundred & announces his retirement still many will have a relief.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 6, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

Clearly Tendulkar is scared of facing Steyn and Philander in his old age. In such a case, why doesn't he retire? I have a question for our selection committee - do you think a top order batsman averaging around 30 in last 2 years should be allowed to play for India?

Posted by AsherCA on (September 6, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

Facts - Tendulkar is well past his best. In fact, the way he got out to NZ during the home series could only be matched by one other cricketer who held a bat that I remember watching - Bhagwat Chandrasekha. Says a lot about Sachin's batting abilities today. If BCCI does not tell the entire cricket world why they need WI in India suddenly now, the logical assumption would be - Sachin arm-twisted / begged BCCI since he wanted to play against a relatively less challenging bowling attack in his last game. If I was Sachin, AND did not see BCCI publishing a really good justification for WI to coming to India NOW, I would refuse to play against WI just to ensure that the world does not think I begged.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Right on DRS?

Bhogle tows the party line yet again

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

@ Love-Men-in-Blue-but-Respect-Others During that same time... South Africa lost 1 Test Series... Yes... 1. In fact, in the past 7 years, South Africa have lost 1 Test Series... wrap your head around that. India won 1 major overseas tour with England 2007 (I believe it might have been 1-1 if not for the rain during the 1st Test) and had two good draws with SA and a competitive series with Aus in 2008. Since 2007, South Africa have been the best Test team in the world... again, lost 1 Test Series...

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

A player of Tendulkar's standing needs to come out and tell what are his future plans. No individual, whatever may be his achievements, is above the game or the country. The board has done a lot for him. Remember, they are giving him a choice of venue to play his 200th test. Such choices were not given to even the great Kapil Dev, the greatest cricketer ever produced by India. He had to announce his retirement in New Zealand remember.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

Test batting esp defense is all about balance, strategy & temperament .....eg Sachin survived the spell of toughest bowler Stein on toughest pitch on last SA tour just through strategy as he played every ball inside the line of it so automatically middled all indippers & missed all away going deliveries.........It is impossible to middle both indepper & away going deliveries at the same time..... One has to form a strategy.........If Sachin adheres to same strategy as he followed on last SA tour test he will prosper. So age really doesn't matter much.

Posted by IPSY on (September 6, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

Harsha, I'm surprised with your take on this matter! I can't see from a professional stand point, how can credence be given to the idea that, if it is true that this international cricket debacle being created here by India is just to provide a 'window of preference' for 'a single player', once that player is Tendulkar it's OK! I think that this could have been so, but only if SRT was not in his third consecutive year of non-production in the team! His performance for this period is too abysmal to give justice to India cricket authorities creating an international cricket precedent, which may even backfire on India cricket in the future! It is my view that India has given SRT a lot throughout his career - the mere fact that he's the only player who was guaranteed an un-droppable career status, fail or not is enough! But he has got this and much more! So having him at age forty going on and on, playing match after match just to get to 200, and not producing is overdoing a good joke!

Posted by Tarun_SJS on (September 6, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Here is why Sachin Tendulkar is not after personal records or prefers playing in India for easy runs:-

He has 49 ODI hundreds. He can keep playing for 50 ODI hundreds.

His ODI form was not that bad when he retired from ODI. India had to play some home series soon.

He choose, too early, not to play T20 international for giving opportunity to young players.

He choose to retire from ODI for giving opportunity to young players as they are capable to succeed in limited overs.

He choose not to retire from Test matches as current Indian players have very little experience in Test matches, they need some guidance in the middle on how to keep patience and build a test inning.

Posted by disorientated on (September 6, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

First, let me state, I think Sachin has been an excellent cricketer, I am a Yorkshire fan, I enjoyed watching him play for my county. I have enjoyed watching him play against England too. That said, he is clearly not the player he was, but that whether he should still be playing for India is a matter for the selectors surely? My concern is for the damage that BCCI is doing to the game. Placing all their eggs in a T20 basket that is beginning to look more worn with each outing. I'm very sorry for SA fans, who are once again being short changed with mini series against the top text sides.

Posted by Westmorlandia on (September 6, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

Just on the DRS tangent, I don't think that BCCI has been proved right at all. DRS didn't do well in the Ashes, but it has improved the game in every other series I have seen. The Ashes are the exception, not the norm, and DRS has been a great success overall.

It could do with a change or two, yes, but the BCCI's head-in-the-sand approach has been shown up over the last few years, not vindicated. When India were last in England, there were several decisions that were clearly wrong that DRS would have fixed.

Posted by CricketChat on (September 6, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

As a public organization, BCCI is expected to disclose the reasons for changing the itinerary of SA tour that was agreed upon by both parties well in advance. This high handed behavior from BCCI has become a common occurrence only after the success of IPL. There is only one cure for this decease. Top playing countries should ban participation of their players in IPL. An Indian domestic IPL will not fill the coffers of BCCI and once their money power disappears, hopefully, reason will follow.

Posted by boycottsmum on (September 6, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

@StaalBurgher - India won the series in England in 2007, lost the 2008 Aus series because of one man - not Ponting or Clarke - but Bucknor, won 2009 away against NZ, drew away against SL and SA in 2010.. which other team you think had a better home-away record in that period that deserved to be No. 1 more than India?

Cricinfo, please publish..

Posted by Tarun_SJS on (September 6, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

South Africa full Schedule is Still possible. Here is how :

IND vs WI

31-Oct ODI Practice Match

02-Nov 1st ODI 05-Nov 2nd ODI 08-Nov 3rd ODI

11-Nov - 13-Nov 3-Days Practice Match

16-Nov - 20-Nov 1st Test Can Play with 2nd Eleven or Test Only Playes or Even ODI Only Players 23-Nov - 27-Nov 2nd Test Can Play with 2nd Eleven or Test Only Playes

IND vs SA

21-Nov T20 Practice Match Can Play with 2nd Eleven or ODI/T20 Olny Players

24-Nov 1st T20 Same as above 27-Nov 2nd T20 Same as above

30-Nov 1st ODI 03-Dec 2nd ODI 06-Dec 3rd ODI 09-Dec 4th ODI 12-Dec 5th ODI 15-Dec 6th ODI 18-Dec 7th ODI

21-Dec - 23-Dec 3-Days Practice Match

26-Dec - 30-Dec 1st Test 02-Jan - 06-Jan 2nd Test 09-Jan - 13-Jan 3rd Test

IND vs NZ

19-Jan 1st ODI 22-Jan 2nd ODI 25-Jan 3rd ODI 28-Jan 4th ODI 31-Jan 5th ODI

02-Feb - 03-Feb 2-Days Practice Match

06-Feb - 10-Feb 1st Test 14-Feb - 18-Feb 2nd Test

Posted by Chak-De-India-Deux on (September 6, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

@ StaalBurgher- from 2007 to get to #1 outside of India - BANG (2007) won 1-0, Eng (2007) won 1-0, SA (2006/2007) lost 2-1, Aus (2007-2008) lost 2-1, NZ (2008-09) won 1-0, Bang (2009-10) won 2-0, SA (2010-11) drew 1-1 , WI (2011) won 1-0, SI (two series) lost 2-1 and 1-1. The SA and Aus series absolute crackers and India held its own. Won in Eng, WI and NZ. Lost to SI (subcontinent). During the same time played 9 series at home 7W and 2-D's. Beat all test playing countries except 2-D with SA. If the wickets are all flat, all the Indian batsmen are flat track bullies then other teams are also home bullies. So they score on fast tracks. Big deal. That is what they grew up on. Its called home advantage. Huge in any sport. Takes the same amount of skill and technique to play fast blowers on bouncing tracks as it does to play a spinner on dust-bowls. I have never understood why its a crime for the Indian team to not be able to win abroad consistently but ok for for them to lose here

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

(contd.) As a supporter of India, I want India to win all games. And if Tendulkar is coming in the way (recent stats suggest he is), he should be shown the door.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

The first thought that came to my mind when I heard that instead of touring SA, India would be playing a home series was ; "God! Tendulkar is lucky! He still has a chance to go out on a high". I am one of those who feel, Tendulkar has outlived his utility and he is of no use to Indian cricket anymore. Facing the likes of Steyn on the lively SA wickets is something he is no longer capable of. Unfortunately, in India, there are a few individuals who feel that they have done so much for the country that the country owes them something in return, which is why Tendulkar reckons he can continue playing until he and he alone decides to call it quits. A lot of other people also feel the same way - how often have we heard someone saying, "Tendulkar should be the one to decide when he should retire". My take on this is different. The country had paid what it owes - Tendulkar is, by far, the richest sportsman in India. (contd.)

Posted by dogcatcher on (September 6, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

No one could ever begrudge the Little master is swan song or the BCCI for arranging such a milestone in India and the benefits that come with it. That said its not rocket science to look at the FTP and work out where such a milestone would be likely to take place and make arrangments accordingly. This could have been arranged months, no years ago. The timing of the WI and NZ tour announcements are nothing but a snub to CSA and a "big bully" way of asserting power. I feel sorry for folk who plan trips years in advance to see their teams and to the SA/ Indian and cricket fans that had hoped to see a full series between to wonderful teams. Shame on you BCCI.

Posted by Triple_A on (September 6, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

It is so unfortunate that because of some fickle-minded readers that Sachin's name is being incessantly dragged into this mess. When, in the last 25 years, has Sachin ever thought of anything other than the team and his country??? When Sachin does well, he suddenly finds fierce support, and when he performs with mediocrity, the bashing begins...what kind of cricket enthusiasts are you? Do you, for a moment, think that Sachin asked the BCCI to organise a tour...or that the players have any say in what tours take place??? SO SO ignorant. This shows how much you guys really follow cricket and understand the fine lines in between. BCCI's and CSA's relation has deteriorated drastically,...that is the ONLY reason for this WI tour. And who else can tour, please tell me - SA: going there right after, Eng/Aus: toured this year, Pak: political tension, SL: really, again? NZ: tour in a few months, Bang: never toured. So who's left - thats right..WI...so grow up and stop with the hating already!

Posted by goan on (September 6, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

Good to see Harsha give voice to the thoughts of many. And sad to notice (again) the deafening silence of the man who wants to be known as God, but is increasingly proving to have feet of clay - on the ground and off it. Any other self-respecting cricketer would have spoken out and said NO, but then perhaps I am getting old and not in touch with the cocooned world of SRT.

By the way, it has gone uncommented for a year, but SRT issued his comment on RD's retirement a day before the man himself made the official announcement. Not magnanimous at all - in fact, reeks of fear that RD might not retire, and of the SG/SRT mindset aimed at eliminating any and every challenger to SRT's vaunted numbers.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

Not just Tendulkar but entire Indian team have done the smart thing here............ Actually this is exactly what they should have done after losing 4-0 to ENG & should have avoided another drubbing of 4-0 vs AUS . ................Smart person never appears in a test he knows he is likely to fail.......................Indians have this time very smartly reduced the embarrassment home victories on placid wickets followed by 2 away test defeats is always better than 4 test drubbing on SA soil.

Posted by gsingh7 on (September 6, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

sachin has been best ambassador of game and argueably best cricketer ever to lift a cricket wooden bat. indians are highly indebted to such a legend and wud go to great heights to celebrate 200 tests for him infront of his homecrowd.incidentally india won wc 2011 in mumbai where he will play his 200 test and will be the only test player ever in 2 centuries of test cricket to achieve this milestone. one more gem to add to most odis played ,most runs in both formats of the game, 100 hundreds, scoring century against every test nation(unlike bradman who played friendlies with england for eternity), being the sole fighter on indian team after indian cricket dropped after 1983 wc win, demolishing top bowlers in the world including likes of warne, muralitharan, wasim ,macgrath,gillespie, saqlain ,vaas,walsh.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

Sorry to say but it looks like the BCCI has a grudge against SA and is doing everything it can to bully CSA and world cricket for that matter into doing what it wants! if it really just wanted to make sure Tendulkar played his 200th or last test at home why not arrange with SA to play 2 tests in India then move to SA?

Posted by StaalBurgher on (September 6, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

@Posted by Love-Men-in-Blue-but-Respect-Others - India did not "win consistently abroad to become no1". They spent almost 2.5 years playing only in the subcontinent, playing on NZ away before they became no.1.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

we all know sachin decided to take rest and have fun with family when india toured WI. now BBCI n Sachin want the weak WI team so that he can score a century. with sachin'c current form, he will not be able to face world 1 test nation SA bowlers... good BCCI

Posted by Chak-De-India-Deux on (September 6, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Ok bad move by BCCI but come one people - don't be such India haters. If you are going to use the recent 8-0 record fair enough but also see India's record over the past 13 years as well. India was ranked # 1 in Test and for that you have to win consistently aboard . Here are some players from those two series not playing in the Indian team currently (may change) - Sehwag, Gambir, Dravid, Laxman, Zaheer, Harbajan, Parveen, Harbajan, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Yuvraj. That is 11 players!! The survivors are Dhoni, Tendulkar (Pujara was injured), Kohli, Ishant and Raina (may not be selected). Yes - Indian batsmen are flat track bullies and score run only in India but how much do SA, Eng, Aus batsmen suck if they cannot score runs on flat tracks. Finally all those undermining Tendulkar (eg he will score 2 runs, afraid etc) all I can say is - I hope belittling a great player makes you feel better as that's all you will ever achieve in your life. Shameful!!

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

Test cricket is NOT in peril. I'm tired of hearing that line bandied about by people affiliated to countries whose Test teams aren't too consistent - its a convenient message to throw out when defending something else. Yep - Sachin, well played, thanks very much for your service but no ONE PERSON is bigger than the sport in the same way that no ONE COUNTRY is bigger than the sport. Time we all moved on and looked forward.

Posted by srdoc on (September 6, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

Cherish greatness but do not allow it to be doomed. I know there are many people who had followed cricket before 90's to know who was great and what a fiery spell of bowling a great was facing without helmet and all other paraphernalia even they were allowed. I might be harsh if I say the average Indian fan is given for a ride for their indulgence in over adoration of the great. Well the great had the reason to cherish, is not he? At the cost of the run of the mill knowledge fans.

Posted by latecut_04 on (September 6, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Is it a practice for host boards to consult the visitors before releasing the itinary. If so Lorgat is the culprit here.But since he offered his apologies BCCI should have gone ahead with the FTP schedule since it was drawn with their approval.Backtracking from an agreed schedule and squeezing a hitherto non existant series into that time slot is criminal in corporate and civic terms.BCCI and WICB need to be punished.(this may be read as a joke..but that is the sad joke.)please publish!!!

Posted by Longhairrocks on (September 6, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

This less to do with a great player's 200th test match and everything do with the BCCI firing warning shots across South Africa's bows for having the temerity to appoint someone that they, the BCCI, do not approve of.

I hope South Africa look for an alternative opponent as a matter of principle.

The BCCI have become the bullies of world cricket, thinking it should run to their requirements and timetables and with their tame disciples on board.

Only a couple of years ago, Haroon Lorgat, when at the ICC noted that he had had to talk fast to stop England leaving the organisation, perhaps it is time for England to reconsider their position and other countries too..

Posted by concerned_cricketer on (September 6, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

If you are a true Indian cricket fan, like me, then you must take a principled stand now and boycott watching the series against West Indies. I have nothing against Windies, they are one of my favourites, but this must be done if the fans want to teach BCCI a lesson in how not to take the fan base for granted. If there is not one spectator in the stands and no viewership, then it will alarm the sponsors and it will in turn make the BCCI think twice before taking such drastic measures to soothe the egos of the cronies that make up the body. Let's exercise some of the powerful techniques that the father of our nation taught us when fighting for a just cause.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

Though a sri lankan Iwas eager to watch this test series. Could have been one of the best test series played in recent time. As a test cricket fan big disapointment.

Posted by Shnky on (September 6, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

What if Sachin gets injured in Champions league and is unable to play the 2 tests against windies? That will leave the board embarrassed .!

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (September 6, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

According to BCCI rotation policy, Ahmadabad and Bangaluru are the next two test grounds to host test matches. I don't think BCCI will make an exception just because it is sachin's 200th test and schedule it in Mumbai. What is the guarantee sachin will be selected? Will the BCCI request the selectors to pick sachin? What if he is injured? Bcci should take WI series as just another series and plan accordingly.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

Seems more like a business move by BCCI..trying to pull people in to watch the dying art of test cricket by using Sachin Tendulkars 200th Test match and a possible retirement. Also playing WI in India is much easier than playing SA in SA where the chance of losing all the matches are high. This is like killing 2 birds with 1 stone...more money and less pressure on BCCI...We all know India's skill in Test matches abroad...another 5-0 against SA would have been bad for BCCI

Posted by VB_Says on (September 6, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

BCCI has taken its attitude to the next level. Instead of throwing the best challenge to Indian team, it is playing spoil sport. Board should realize that Sachin no longer is the main attraction in cricket anymore. The overall quality of bat v/s ball contest attracts spectators to test matches. The tension emanating from aggresive result-oriented strategy creates moments of excitement. I am so sure that his 200th test milestone will come & go like "maska', with no real joy for spectators.

Posted by aurko on (September 6, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

india will get owned in this series so the number of tests will equal the number of innings defeats, they are just plain afraid. and also the moneymaking to host the 200th at home against weak opposition, what a joke.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

Politics playing cricket and chance for youngsters playing at Africa lost.

Posted by 504429641 on (September 6, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

Also one more thing, when WI plays 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and 2 T20Is against NZ after the India tour, then why can't India play the same no. of matches against SA in the same duration? (remember India travels to NZ after that). The only difference is NZ plays both the series at home, while India plays both away and traveling from SA to NZ is like traveling half the globe. No Test cricket fan will be happy, if no. of tests are reduced from 3 to 2 (3 itself is less, it should be ideally 4). If at all, reduce no. of ODIs or T20Is.

Posted by jasonpete on (September 6, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

@Kalyan Budavarthi, ,Hilarious.One of the ridiculous comment I ever read in this forum.It's the youngsters who is giving a change in performance after two away whitewashes.Let them play abroad first .till that u can reserve your comments regarding the series.Everyone told the same when India went for CT but indian team put up an amazing performance.What dhoni got to do with Logat - BCCI issue? I guess your BCCI insider giving all wrong info to you or you are completely not in sync with current indian team updates.It's really funny when you know someone can think this much extreme for board politics.You are no different from BCCI.@ Thedreamer well said.

Posted by aurko on (September 6, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

india are afraid. it's a better steyn and dey will b crushed in SA.. i hope for india's sake dey play more games.. it gives dem a better chance of avoiding innings defeats.. if dey play 2 tests against SA.. SA would b blazing and dey will lose both tests.. no doubt.. but also by an innings. idk abt how the lorgat thing might effect. having the 200th at home will make millions and u dont want him getting out on 2 or 3 on his 200th in cape town. i dont either. i love to remmember him for that devastating innings in sharjah and that straight six off damien fleming that landed on the roof. its sad that he stopped playing the cricket only he could play 10 years ago, after that WC 03 game against pak destroying akhtar.

Posted by Rohit... on (September 6, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

Why is BCCI so adamant to lose their Money Source??? Sachin is the reason BCCI became so strong... I was going to the 2nd standard when 1996 WC was going on... I knew only 1 sportsperson at that time...SACHIN & only SACHIN... No Ponting, No Lara, No Waugh, No Warne... It was Sachin who ruled the people's heart from a very young age... We were watching Cricket only because of Sachin and not for the rest players... Everytime Sachin gets OUT, all my friends cry and go to the bed... That was Sachin's Impact... He brought the entire India to Cricket and eventually Hockey was left far behind... But it was BCCI who were making the most of Sachin's fans and now the same BCCI wants to forcefully retire Sachin... Because they think he is old...BCCi will rue when Sachin retires... No stadium will ever be full after his retirement...(Except for Ind-Pak matches)

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

wouldn't it be a bit awkward if tendulkar had a minor injury before this india v west indies series and therefore physically could not play his 200th series at home - it could happen?

Posted by venumadhavps on (September 6, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

unfit people are governing indian cricket,they are only interested in money making and least intersted upholding the values of the game.winning a test series in south africa should have been top priority.

Posted by applethief on (September 6, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

I wouldn't believe that the Tendulkar himself demanded this, but he's forever been surrounded by sycophants who feel like they need to engineer moments for him. Everything from selection to batting order, to persisting when shockingly out of form, it's like the world around him just won't tolerate the man not being a larger-than-life caricature. His 200th test would have held a lot more meaning and significance if it were an organic achievement i.e. playing in South Africa. Now, anyone who isn't a die-hard Indian supporter will always know him as the guy who was corporately managed towards a nice round number of test matches

Posted by 504429641 on (September 6, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

While it is a good thing for making Sachin play 200th test at home and also a send off at home, I feel Sachin should also play the SA series before retiring. The SA test series was the much talked about and anticipated test series for India since we lost 8-0 away to ENG and AUS. Everyone thought only one thing that if we got clean sweeped by ENG and AUS, then what will happen in SA, where even the best of the best will struggle against Steyn and co? It would be unfair for SA and India fans if Sachin will retire before SA series. One last Sachin vs Steyn please...

Posted by nauman421 on (September 6, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

And I always used to think that Lorgat converted Internatıonal Crıcket Councıl to Indian Cricket Council.........

Posted by KerneelsMerkII on (September 6, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

Easy. Play three tests and "rest" Sachin of one. Rest him for Wanderers as I am planning to attend the other 2.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

This is ridiculous! What kind of a joke is this? A two test series in South Africa is very disappointing when we all were looking forward to this new look Indian team taking on the Proteas on their own turf.

Posted by thedreamer on (September 6, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

Kalyan Budhavarti - Your comment is as ridiculous as the decision by BCCI to shorten the SA series. And I'm sure you have a very short term memory because someone needs to reiterate to you that the last time India played a Test series, it was not Sachin, rather Vijay and Jadeja who performed exceedingly well. Agreed, they might not have the skill and temperament to play the likes of Steyn & co, but why pick them alone? And Dhoni had a lot of influence and wants to protect the two of them? Such an abject comment - please, if you're an honest cricket fan (and I'm not mentioning an Indian cricket fan), DO NOT make such comments here! Grow up.

Posted by Biso on (September 6, 2013, 9:04 GMT)

Issue is clear and simple. Lorgat took some actions in the past while at ICC which has not endeared him to BCCI. eg.DRS-BCCI is certainly not going to be a party to patronising some half baked systems like DRS and wait for years till the system evolves, all at the cost of the boards. Like it or not, India being the largest provider of funds to the ICC , will have a distinct say in their affairs.. Also, CSA has brought about some changes in the tour itinerary without keeping BCCI in confidence which was certainly a big mistake. It is obvious that BCCI's step has taken CSA by surprise. They never imagined that BCCI will dare to take such an unpopular step. They were wrong. BCCI , obviously does not want to be taken for granted. But, the bottom line is that the officials of these two boards with their inflated egos have not been talking to each other on these issues. Each waiting for the other to blink first. That is the crux of the problem today. Both are wrong. Sad!

Posted by Deuce03 on (September 6, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

It's not just India on this issue. Since Australia lost the #1 ranking in 2009 the big three in Test cricket have been England, South Africa and India. Including next year's matches, England and India will have played each other 13 times in this period, while England and South Africa will have only played 7 and India and South Africa 8. Looking at the number of matches Australia have played against various opponents the difference is also pronounced. The rankings table says it all: SA have played (considerably) fewer Tests in this ranking period than any other top-five Test country except Pakistan (who don't play India, and can't play at home). So there's a problem here; either the South African board is reluctant to play Tests, or everybody else is reluctant to play South Africa.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

I feel sad for Sachin. He has not said anything and from media to BCCI close sources, somesay, are planning his farewell. The fact that he hasnt performed to his level in last two years has added fuel to the fire.But I do feel shortening SA series, courtesy Lorgat-BCCIgate, is totally upsurd. I will love to see Steyn-Sachin fight rather than Sammy bowling his dibly doblys medium pace to Sachin..

Posted by tough_cool on (September 6, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

It is by no means a bold article at all; if anything Harsha has succeeded in creating confusion among the readers if he is towing the BCCI line or cutting through it -- an art to which he is becoming an ever developing expert. I stopped reading his articles since long time but this time the title line misguided me . So according to Harsha BCCI is vindicated for its stance against DRS I am sure he is drawing references to recent ashes series where more than anyone else it is Harsha who understands that it is players and third umpires who are at fault rather than the DRS itself. So in all of the article Harsha suggests to BCCI to come clean with a "politically correct" answer to curtailing SA tour that will satisfy the fans, coz he knows better than BCCI that the fans are sheep which need to be led in a direction and he is setting that direction

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

This is a complete joke. BCCI should probably invite Bangladesh or maybe Ireland for the 200th test so that Tendulkar can score a century. Either way you look at it the current fiasco is a shame.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

whats the big deal? why cant sachin play 201 at home and sign off from there? and still play three tests in SA? It is afterall a number .. :/

Posted by venkatesh018 on (September 6, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

Unlike with the case of DRS, Harsha has not tried to play the "Devil's Advocate" and done the right thing in criticizing the BCCI's indefensible stand.

Posted by richardthebravearthur on (September 6, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

You have to admit that no matter how great Tendulkar once was, he isn't up to scratch and his 'use by' date has long gone. Sad but true, I suppose this is one of those face-saving acts that's so popular in India sports. Who knows, he might be given to make a century too (all things are possible).

Posted by Sajish on (September 6, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

What a Bold and meaningful article by the great Harsha Bogle. Really impressive. Yes "If the BCCI has a valid reason, it is important that the fans know of it," the Series now pruned/cut short, what is the reason for it? BCCI is playing bad politics in the wake of Sachin 200th Test. If that milestone comes in South African Pitch what is wrong in it? India is No.1 in Tests and they should have play SA for retaining its position and that is the fair result to know Which team stands at No.1 in Tests as far ICC rankings are concerned. I am really felt sad that the Series with SA cut short and in order to earn more profit BCCI gone for a Home Series with WI by not giving respect to ICC's FTP. The main reason is the Tit-for Tat with Mr. HL and not Sachin's milestone. Just fooling the Indian Cricket Fans worldwide. Thanks to Mr. Harsha Bhogle for this wonderful column. One should write something boldly and Mr. Harsha Bhogle done it for Indian Cricket Fans. Keep it up.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

Point no 1, The 200th test is definitely not the reason. The reason Sachin wants to go to SA was to play the best attach in the world for one final time and not just complete 200 tests or watever. For a man who has achieved every landmark in the game, what further can this mean. I understand finance and it is important but a meaningless 2 match series? Point no.2, and I am pretty sure I am right, Dhoni has had a lot of influence in shortening the SA series. India will win against WI(duh), they will atleast draw against NZ away(courtesy of a kohli or pujara special, again a waste of series coz of 2 matches) and then head to Eng. By shortening SA series, Dhoni wanted to make sure the likes of Jadeja and Vijay are protected and go to England coz there is no doubt, there 2 are walking wickets against Steyn and co. I can already imagine it, Steyn, Morkel and Philander fighting for the ball the moment Jadeja walks in.If test cricket is priority, do something to show it!

Posted by S.Jagernath on (September 6, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

@Roversgate.I am very glad you are not the chairman of selectors.You have the ideal plan to destabilise a cricketing nation.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

I think this has a lot to do with his political aspirations, giving him a home send off and against opposition that they can beat will give him nice momentum going forward into the next faze of his life. All good and well, but burn bridges at your own peril. SA will not forget this in a hurry.

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (September 6, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

With only 15 days window between the end of Aus odi series( Nov 2 nd) and the original start of SA tour (18th Nov), no way tendulkar would've asked BCCI to arrange a home series during that period. BCCI might even spring a surprise by arranging a 4 test series against SA and play the ODIs and T20Is another time later.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (September 6, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

And so nothing changes. The BCCI is always concerned with (a) making as much money as possible, by whatever means that appear legal (b) increasing its own power & influence, by hacking down perceived enemies & over-zealous or over- inquisitive critics, thereby bolstering (a). (c) Promoting the IPL, thereby further bolstering (a). Of course, an organization with such a sharp focus must have a mantra (It must be a mantra; I have made this point so many times before). *Never discuss. Never explain*. Everything you have reported here, Harsha, supports this comment, so I'd appreciate its appearance. Thank you.

Posted by Lalindra2012 on (September 6, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

Shame on India and BCCI for childish play and i think it's time someone took a stance and without speaking out that BCCI is calling the shot single handedly in the ICC meetings. Other cricket boards have to rally a round and bring the ICC to it's old glory days where the ICC was transparent.

Posted by ArnoldVDH on (September 6, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

If I was CSA, I would cancel the whole tour and invite the Windies down for Christmas.

They haven't been in the Republic for a while so it may be nice to have them.

Posted by mensan on (September 6, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

I think giving Tendulkar a chance to bid farewell to the game at his home ground is fair. I agree with BCCI. But at the same time, what is the use of playing 3 ODIs? Obviously BCCI is pushing CSA and in a way punishing them.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

Of all the boredom that I have had with cricket in recent times.. except than the ashes.. this was one series I was looking for...but thanks to BCCI the fans will not get what they want.. but would suffice its own ego by doing what it does the best - care the least about the viewers.

ironically, there could be one more hidden reason or a reason out of fear that might have prompted BCCI to organise the WI tour.. and that is.. India might well have lost the series to SA and Sachin's last series would have ended up being on the losing side... just like Laxman and Dravid... may be no one wants that...

but zaheer khan, sharma, kumar and yadav on SA pitch with Pujara, Kohli and Dhawan taking on SA bowling ... well I would have taken this any day!

Posted by Smithie on (September 6, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

Your assertion that the BCCI is largely correct in its stance on DRS simply does not stand up to factual scrutiny. The prospect of another overseas whitewash at the hands of a skilful opposition is why Srini has conceived of a scenario which is far more pallatble to both Indian sponsors and fans. A continuing saga of disgraceful humiliation in the eyes of global cricket.

Posted by sarath141 on (September 6, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

I am sorry to hear Sachin Tendulkar being dragged into this despite not being too sure what BCCI has done in closed doors.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

" But by not coming out with its argument in time the board let the world assume that the objection came from the captain and Tendulkar alone." Shocking statement fom Harsha, not expected from this respected gentleman. I dont think any one in the world ever thought, its a captains' callr of even sachin's call. Every one was thinking about the issues with Haroon and also making use of a commercial possibility. I believe even Harsha will agree to me after another thought.

Posted by pitch_it_up on (September 6, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Thanks Harsha for having the guts for saying this. I keep wondering why Indian Cricket commentators and experts (including you Harsha) refrain from criticizing BCCI for its wrong doings. I never saw any issue with BCCI (including its stand on DRS), but the way it dealt with ICL and the recent IPL inquiries, I thought a lot was left to be desired.

Anyways, this article brings a huge relief to a common man like me....especially believing that an educated/learned man like you didn't have to fear anyone...even when some people feel the organization is their source of their bread!

Posted by AjitRaje on (September 6, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

Sachin's 200th test is just a fig-leaf used by BCCI. Sachin will always be a hero in Mumbai whether he plays his 200th test there or elsewhere. Or even if retires immediately and does not wait for 200 (its just a number). Actually his announcing immediate retirement will prevent BCCI from misusing his popularity. Its time that iconic players like Sachin, Dravid, Saurav become the games' administrators instead of the present lot.

Posted by srinideva on (September 6, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

i don't know why the mumbai and kolkata cricket boards are requesting for hosting the second test match. I hope this is not a ipl game. He played for india not for any city and state in his international carrier...

Posted by philvic on (September 6, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

This is plain disgusting behaviour by the BCCI. Tendulkar or any individual should be irrelevant to tour scheduling - Tendulkar should in any case have retired or been dropped a couple of years ago

Posted by Sarathc90 on (September 6, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

Please people, use your brains. If it was for the sake of Sachin, why would the BCCI include ODI's also? It is all about Lorgat and Tendulkar is merely the scapegoat.

Posted by TopTipper on (September 6, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

Harsha has contradicted himself in the second paragraph. He believes that shifting schedules for a single cricketer is not a 'valid argument'. However since we are 'emotional people' it is OK! So what is the conclusion Harsha?? Are you afraid of upsetting Tendulkar or the BCCI or both? Regarding the DRS, I disagree that BCCI had an (unambiguous) stand. It just opposed the system without clarifying why so. It is just an coincidence that BCCI got to say 'I told you so' after the Ashes. If DRS would have been successfully used in the Ashes, BCCI right now would be under tremendous pressure to clarify its stand.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

I couldn't understand why BCCI act such silly.. What will they do if Sachin play at home and make 5 or 10. Think positively he was in great form in his last tour of Africa and could have been proven very vital in those situations. may be he can go to make century because he will play with cautions in those situations, in home conditions that cautions reduces.. May be he is such a great player but it is there.. You can't hide it from any human..!

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Harsha,

It is sad to see this, because I have very fond memories of that 2011 Ind vs SA Test Series. Not just the cricket but even the umpiring was top class which was a huge point of contention at the start of the series and Ian Gould's decision on Harbhajan's not out on an unplayable Steyn outswing was the best ever - the ball had hit the wicket but not dislodged the bails. It was one of those few series where cricket was discussed more than DRS tactics (as we just saw in the recently concluded Ashes).

I also bring this up because that season was probably the best time for Test Cricket lovers in India. You wake up in the morning to watch Ashes and then in afternoon you got this. A perfect Test cricket schedule.

It is sad that the stakeholders of the game have forgotten the fans, and the game is poorer for this.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

BCCI is thinking as if it is the head of all other cricketing nations and it can do anything it wants. I as a fan would love to see 3 or 4 test match series in south Africa but bcci is more concerned about money than fans. Harsha as written a good piece ,I hope it open eyes of sleeping bcci. test cricket is losing fans and board should try to have more matches between top teams

Posted by PrasPunter on (September 6, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

Is the game all about one man ? Is it all about the whims and fancies of a power-hungry body ? I respect Eng and Aus for the simple reason that they never thought the game is bigger than them. But unfortunately these days when the shots are called from elsewhere , the game as a whole seem to take a beating. Though an Aussie supporter, I like the way Eng stands up against the bcci something CA couldn't. Let Aus/SA/ Eng team-up to restore world-order. Everything will change for good.

Posted by skmohanty on (September 6, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

Agree on the article that BCCI owes people an explanation. I however strongly believe that it's clash between BCCI and Haroon Lorgat. If the person did not ask a favour for a farewell ODI series against PAK, then how could one believe it's SRT who proposed BCCI for a home series for his 200th test. That cant be true. It's BCCI who is trying to get two targets at one shot. They're simply trying to cash on on SRT's 200th test by diverting the main topic (ego clash with Haroon Lorgat).

Posted by DaredevilsUnlimited on (September 6, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

Well written Harsha i thought most were spineless let the Govt sack this BCCI all die hard fans are there to support Govt action to clean the system earlier the better

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

For the first time I see Harsha write something not in favour of BCCI, would love to see something from Sunny and Shastri as well. If BCCI has had to protect the interests of its investors or whatever, why wake up now at the 11th hour, why not well in advance ? and as if they havent have made loads and loads of money all the year round and via IPL. what Haroon has done so much to BCCI that are against him so strongly so as to cut short/scrao the entire tour that features in the FTP. Sachin may or may not be the reason but our master is been dragged inti this BCCI tamasha; the more genuine reason seems that BCCI fears another whitewash in away tour and slipping further down the rankings rather than anything else. Like everyone else, had been waiting for this series for long and definitely feel cheated by the BCCI once more.

Posted by TopTipper on (September 6, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

I think this is a case of BCCI's poor planning.They realised at the 11th hour that we should have been in talks with Sachin a lot earlier about the 200th but never mind, 'chalta hai'. We still have a lot of time to do whatever we want with the FTP because we are so rich and powerful who would dare us? This also connects well with the fact that BCCI needs to flex muscle towards CSA and Lorgat. Perfect! Being transparent and well-communicated was never BCCI's strength. They prefer to leave a lot to speculation. This has become a norm on a lot of issues. Again, a case in point for establishing good internal governance. Having said that, why do the real influencers in the Indian Cricket system such as Sachin, Shastri, Sourav, Gavaskar and many others prefer to keep quiet or act blur on these critical fundamental issues such as the BCCI governance? Sad days again for an Indian cricket fan..

Posted by 100_rabh on (September 6, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

Congratulations Harsha for writing on this subject. Dont think that any other cricket experts/commentators/writers from India would have touched this topic for obvious reasons. You owe an apology to BCCI or else BCCI will pull back from all the matches where you are scheduled to work as a commentator! I also think that if Sachin retires after this WI series, this will be very unlike him. Either he retires before the home series or he goes to SA as well. How i wish that the BCCI gives more say to coach Fletcher in scheduling also.

Posted by gummadv on (September 6, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

What you want BCCI to do? SA announced schedule without consulting BCCI that to after they made public their difficulty in dealing with Lorgat. I agree SA done the right thing in choosing Largat as their boss they do what is good for them. BCCI will do what is good for them. SA is losing big money paid by Indian public that is SA problem. We are not dying to see India play SA at the cost of our self respect.

Posted by ab_cricket on (September 6, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

The world (except India) would have preferred Tendulkars 200th test at Cape Town against Steyn & Co. Better would have been a good knock by him in the test. The validity of having Tendulkars 200th Test played in front of home crowd only depends on whether it will be his last Test Match.If not then I think his last Test would be more significant than this number. It is sad that Tendulkar's name in the history books will get associated only with numbers. But I think both India and Tendulkar are to be blamed equally for that.

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (September 6, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Not only should his 200th test be at home, BCCI should have tried to rope in Bangladesh as the opponent so that he has a good chance of scoring a 100 (even though it is not guaranteed). A missed opportunity?

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

i think ppl r being just hasty in jumping to conclusions irt this episode. To b honest ppl r unduly making sachin the scapegoat who's on threshold of playing a record 200th test match. honestly he himself might not have envisaged such an upheaval for no fault of his. To be rational bcci is justified to secure best interests of its investors. On the other hand CSA too dont deserve this measly treatment whatever the reasons might b after sachin is a univeral figure with fans all over the world. In their best interests, both the boards should resolve the issue at the earliest. By the way what's so special abt haroon lorgat as an adminstrator that CSA has dared Bcci putting ages-long friendship to sword.its more than what meets to eye i suppose.

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (September 6, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

happy to hear, finally few respectable writers accepts the flaws in the current drs technology.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (September 6, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

Harsha is absolutely right re.- the Bcci but all of us know it ain't going to happen. Not when they have ever explained anything to any 1 in past for their actions and with the height and position of power and 'paper' muscle the board hold over cricket they themselves don't thing they owe 1 to any 1. History has to be made if what Harsha is saying happens but with these lot it ain't happen!

Posted by Lodhisingh on (September 6, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

Its got to a point where Sachin fans can only say "whatever you say, Harsha". I hope you find other interesting things to write about.

Posted by Cha_cha_Chaudhary on (September 6, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

Harsha,

I have enjoyed reading (and listening to) your commentary over the years. And, I think you usually make perfect sense. Nevertheless, on this occasion, I cannot see much difference between "If indeed the upheaval in itineraries is to allow Tendulkar to play that 200th at home" and "if this is to allow him to play his last game at the Wankhede Stadium". Regardless of the merit of doing so in either case, BCCI should have seen this coming a lot earlier.

Posted by Gurudumu on (September 6, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

Great article Harsha as always! BCCI, in their quest to ensure the greatest Indian cricketer gets a deserved send off, have decided to curtail the SA tests. There is no doubt in my mind that Sachin did NOT ask for his 200th test to be played in India. Admittedly, India Vs SA test series is mouth watering and should warrant more than a silly two tests.

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (September 6, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

i really dont know why people crying for test cricket. If test cricket has a (technique, temperment as said by test fans) capability to stand and attract fans, it will survive. One cannot force test matches to audience who never intrested to watch. 1 test and 5 odi would be good in SA TOUR

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

Ok lets be clear with this first. 1. Sachin did not ask for this and 2. the reasons for the Windies team touring and SA tour shortening have nothing to do with sachin or his 200th test. Its just a cat and mouse game between the BCCI and CSA. Both have had no official statements so far and I am sure both are waiting for the other one to blink. There were also reports that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been put on a standby if South Africa pull out, but still the boards have not spoken with each other. This basically shows the gap between the two which has only widened exponentially ever since Lorgat took over. And it did not help the cause with CSA announcing the schedule unilaterally. There is a lot of explanation that CSA needs to do about it and yet no word from them. So obviously egos were hurt and as a result, cricket is suffering. BCCI is to be blamed for the current fiasco but CSA also need to answer a lot of people for this situation. I hope cricket survives this unwanted test.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

iIf India keeps winning matches, no body cares. Hence they invite WI, NZ etc to keep that winning feeling. Lets try for Bangladesh also, it will give him an opportunity to better his 248 not out.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (September 6, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

The point that Harsha is probably wanting to put across is that unless there is a specific clarification from BCCI the general public will imagine that Sachin has asked for this. What people must realise is that that is unlike him absolutely. But the question is how will the BCCI explain that it has to do with Srinivasan and Lorgat. While I find that the CSA's announcement of the itinerary of the India tour was wholly arbitrary, at this stage it makes little sense in anything else other than an open appology by the man behind that goof up.So in my opinion, the BCCI should queer the pitch by saying that they never expected CSA to do what they did. Unless that happens, the lovers of the game will have to put up with what is going on in the IOA. Absolute arrogance.

Posted by Atul on (September 6, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

Thanks for putting this out, Harsha.

There has been sufficient uproar on the online channels over the curtailment of the test series. The BCCI, like the Indian government, seems oblivious to the concerns of the paying public.

Posted by ravi-1967 on (September 6, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

I am a fan of Sachin but this by the BCCI is too much. We cannot go back on our committments for one man or even for earning money if something was agreed and committed long back.

BCCI is becoming worse than the political setup in our Country and hope some sense prevails and things get better.

All the best to Tendulkar to do well.

Posted by sray23 on (September 6, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

The BCCI will never give an explanation, and the only time it will 'owe' one is once fans start going away from the game. I for one am starting to lose interest in cricket (esp. Indian cricket) by the day. I will not encourage my son to play cricket, rather drive him to sport with more context and glory, like tennis or football. In fact, I'd be very disappointed if he chose cricket because it will probably be only because of the money and the opportunity to become an overpaid glamour pony with not much sporting ability.

Posted by Alexk400 on (September 6, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

I really do not care India play sachin 200th test in India. That is nothing to do with playing SA only 2 test instead of 3 or 4. SA is number 1 team in the world. And india refuse to play them because of one guy who is in charge of SA. I think it is childish and pathetic. I hope SA do not come crawling down , i rather feel they cancel india tour and remove all their players from IPL.

Posted by bhusaranga on (September 6, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

I am pretty sure It is BCCI vs SA war spoiling the environment. Sometime ego takes people too much away from their path. Hopefully BCCI recover from this tit-for-tat syndrome.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (September 6, 2013, 4:16 GMT)

Interesting article but one thing i can say for sure is that Sachin would never put a personal milestone ahead of the game, he would have no say in where his 200th test is being held, the great man has always put team and country ahead of any personal milestones

Posted by cricket_ahan on (September 6, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

Normally you write quite balanced pieces Harsha, but to suggest that Sachin himself asked to play his 200th at home is an allegation that totally contradicts Sachin's humble an unselfish dedication to his team over 20+ years. We've heard incidents with many other players over the years - Warne, Ponting, Pieterson, Gibbs etc. - but never has the Great Man ever been involved in mindless banter, provoking remarks or selfish rants. He is what Roger Federer is to tennis - selfless, dedicated, and merely just in love with the game. Sure one can understand why he would want to play his 200th test at home in Mumbai (it's absurd to think that he wouldn't find that special), but to even hint that he would himself suggest and push for it is bordering on insulting.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

I don't think this series has been scheduled just for tendulkar to play his 200th test match at home,but India are not scheduled to play a home series this season and you cannot have season where the home team don't have any international fixture.I'm not sure how many boards will be willing to do that,so rather than criticizing BCCI we should be glad that India gets to play two more test matches before three very important tours(SA,NZ,ENG).

Posted by TamilIndian on (September 6, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Hi Harsha - spot on as usual. The problem is both boards are not coming out with what exactly the plan is for the SA series. The WI series is almost certainly made for Sachin to retire at his home ground. That too should be made open. Why so much secrecy when it is really not needed?

Posted by Ayas on (September 6, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

Good Article Harsha... but saw some defending for BCCI also.. Really don't care where Sachin plays his last test. The players should not be treated above the game. But the board is doing that bcoz they want 'no revolt' from players when it makes all kinds of idiotic decisions. The other means it is achiving the same is by distributing money. People like Shastri, Gavaskar will never open their mouth bcoz of these gratitude shown by BCCI. Good that there are people like you keep bringing these issue. Now the game is played for sponsers/investors, not for the love of it or for fans. If Sachin has to be given a chance to play his last test in India, then it had to in Aus series, not by arranging an extra series to accommodate greed of a single person. When Sourav/Laxman wanted to play on, people say they are liability on team & should give way for new faces, when Sachin wants to play on so called cricket pandits says 'its for his love for the game'. Hope he retires before SA series.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

Professionalize the board when you have it run by people who treat it as their fiefdom

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

Thanks Harsha for speaking up the truth. While all so called pundits are silent on this topic. What happened so far on SA tour schedule is a shame, just because some thick skinned politicians without cricketing brains are at the helm of BCCI.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

BCCI brought WI so Sachin can play his landmark 200th Test before home crowd despite fact to entertain home crowd, will for sure draw lot of money to board. However, I don't think this is going to be his last test series. He got some 2 even good years left in him.

Posted by roversgate on (September 6, 2013, 3:44 GMT)

I don't see why there cannot be a two match test series in WI AND a 3-match test series in SA by the end of this year. The WI tour of India can feature newcomers to the test team as Indian test team is in transition anyways. Bring back Gambhir and Sehwag and let them play against WI while Dhawan and Vijay will go early to get accustomed to the conditions in SA and open in the first test there. Rayudu, Tendulkar, Badrinath, Karthik, Binny, Jadeja and Raina can compete for middle order slots against WI. Kohli, Pujara, RG Sharma, Rahane, Dhoni and Saha could go to SA early and play in the first test match. By the time the WI tour is over, whoever played well from the newcomers can then be sent to SA as part of the reserve players in the squad, they should be there in time for the first test but will sit out and get accustomed to the conditions. Ashwin, Z. Khan (if fit), I. Sharma, U. Yadav and B. Kumar for bowlers in SA and S. Ahmed, Pandey, Awana, Ojha and Mishra against WI.

Posted by jango_moh on (September 6, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

i hope this move was not for sachin, that would be stupid!!!! but i think its got more to do with the brewing tensions b/w bcci and SA cricket!!!!

Posted by OceanSaffa on (September 6, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

I remember that series for 2 people: SRT and KALLIS. Argually 2 legends still gracing our test. Steyn was at his best in that CT test, beating SRT's bat, but at the end it was Sachin who won. Then comes Kallis, SA in trouble and him with a broken bone somewhere his body. Got a ton to help SA save match along with his 1st ton in 1st innings. Its a shame that in years to come these legends wont be playing anymore, yet only 2 test series against these 2 immortals of the game we love: TEST CRICKET.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 6, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

Isn't it obvious Harsha ? Of course it is for the Little Master ! Why else would they play WI out of the blue moon right in front of an all important tour to SA ? Of course it is to make sure Tendulkar plays his 200th test at home. It's a remarkable achievement and a milestone which I am sure NO player will ever surpass. However, contrary to your point, the whole of India already knows the answer. We in India always have a history of patronizing our seniors. From Gavaskar to Tendulkar, it's always been the same. We treat our senior players like father figures. Sachin is a stalwart and a living legend. However, I cannot justify the tour to SA being curtailed. I may not be a lover of test cricket but, I do recognize the need for a longer series. That's the fair way. SA are one of the best teams in the world and it's would be a show of respect for us to tour them for a complete tour.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 3:08 GMT)

Finally! A sane voice arrived from Indian cricketing circles. It is interesting that other outspoken ex-cricketers like Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar haven't said anything so far on the issue. Or, they know something we don't. Or, May be it's the contract they have with BCCI. Nobody from board is coming up to explain what exactly it is, which moved them to take whole scheduling shake around. They already knew Cricket SA plans for Sachin's 200th tests and would have been better place for him to celebrated the occasion. Unlike India where whole media and people will be buzzing around the 200th test and the crowd will be noisy and all fans gonna set their eyes on their TV sets, SA will be less quieter and certainly no pressure from the crowd. Also, the pitches at SA are bouncier which Sachin always enjoyed. Hence scoring a 100 which all are expecting would have been easier. But then its BCCI, Haroon is definitely an issue for them but they got this opportunity to hide their grudge.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

Good article. I'm a massive fan of Tendulkar, and really believe he is God, but if a 200th & final test was the reason for this, it's absolutely unforgivable!

A 200th Test Match against the likes of Steyn or Philander is far, far, far better way to end your career, than against a West Indies side that's not much of a competition.

On a plus side, I'm glad that we're not playing Sri Lanka!!!

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Harsha BhogleClose
Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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