BCCI objects to South Africa tour itinerary
The BCCI has objected to the itinerary of India's tour to South Africa starting in November, which was announced by Cricket South Africa on Monday. According to the BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, CSA announced the schedule without obtaining the BCCI's consent.
"We have written to CSA mentioning that while we have been discussing the tour itinerary, nothing had been agreed upon (before they announced the schedule). The discussions are on and a consensual decision will come soon," Patel told ESPNcricinfo. Jagmohan Dalmiya, who has been in charge of the BCCI's day-to-day affairs with N Srinivasan having stepped aside as president, confirmed that the BCCI had raised "concerns" with CSA.
While Patel refused to elaborate on those concerns, Dalmiya said the BCCI had issues with the scheduling of the Tests. At the moment, the tour comprises two Twenty20 internationals and seven ODIs, followed by three Tests.
"We have some concerns over the gap between the last two Tests of the three-match series," Dalmiya told reporters in Kolkata. "We have informed this to our South African counterpart (CSA) and the two boards are trying very amicably to sort out the matter. The new schedule will be announced soon." *
The present schedule has an eight-day gap between the second and third Tests. Earlier this year, when South Africa hosted Pakistan, there was a similar eight-day gap between two Tests. The BCCI prefers to play three-Test series with a three-day interval for home series. The last time India toured South Africa (in 2010-11), the biggest gap was five days - between the first Test at Centurion and the Boxing Day Test. This time, the gap between the first two Tests is just two days, with CSA deciding to reinstate the Boxing Day and New Year Tests to Durban and Newlands respectively.
It is learned that the new BCCI administration has concerns with the "number of matches and the itinerary" for the tour. The tour is scheduled to end on January 19, just before the start of the New Zealand tour, though the schedule for that tour hasn't yet been finalised.
The BCCI feels that seven ODIs are "too many". "If we have five ODIs, perhaps the tour can get over a week early and the boys can have a week-long break before flying to New Zealand," a BCCI insider said, preferring anonymity. He also revealed that the board has been consulting the players on whether they would prefer to play the Tests before the ODIs.
CSA, however, has claimed that it has not received any formal complaint from the BCCI and that they have followed all the correct protocols. "If the BCCI has any concerns they can raise them with us and we will sort them out amicably as we have always done in the past," Michael Owen Smith, CSA media consultant, said.
Additional reporting from Firdose Moonda
* - July 9, 2013, 1815 GMT - story updated with Dalmiya quotes
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo