India in South Africa 2013-14 September 2, 2013

India itinerary mess leaves franchises in limbo


South Africa's franchise associations have urged Cricket South Africa to finalise quickly the itinerary for the upcoming home series against India with the BCCI, given that ticket sales are at stake. The Gauteng Cricket Board (GCB), which manages the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, is concerned it might not get to host the third Test, scheduled from January 15, but has decided to release season tickets despite the uncertainty.

"All we know is what we have read (in the press)," Gauteng's CEO Cassim Docrat said on Monday. "We could be one of the affected parties so we need to know what's going to happen. We have (asked CSA), but (as of Sunday afternoon) we haven't had a response from them yet.

"We are going to go ahead with our season ticket sales based on the original itinerary. We can always change midstream if we need to - the longer we wait to put them on sale, the longer we keep people in limbo."

The Cape Cobras (Newlands) have already announced their ticket prices for the T20 (November 24), ODI (December 15), the New Year Test (starting January 2) and the Australia Test in March. Kwa Zulu Natal (Kingsmead, Durban), which is scheduled to host the Boxing Day Test, is also expected to release tickets soon. Johannesburg is also due to host a T20 and an ODI.

Another franchise official, who did not want to be named, said they would "urge CSA to sort this out very quickly." They also said it was discussed at last week's CEOs conference and there were concerns over the status of the upcoming home series, which is bound to generate great interest. CSA, however, appear to be in denial that the schedule may be pruned and hence have remained mum on the issue as far as the franchises are concerned.

The BCCI had already objected to the itinerary released in July, saying CSA had announced the schedule without the Indian board's consent. It is understood that the BCCI is on the verge of giving CSA a revised schedule cutting down what was originally scheduled to be a three-Test, seven-ODI and two-T20 tour to two Tests, three ODIs and two T20s.

However, BCCI president N Srinivasan said after the board's working committee meeting on Sunday that the series is "definitely on." A CSA official told ESPNcricinfo that the board had not been contacted by the BCCI on the schedule yet, and it would not respond till it receives "a formal proposal".

The status and length of the South Africa tour was in further doubt when on Sunday, the BCCI announced it would be inviting West Indies for at least two Tests in November. This would directly impact the South Africa schedule, as India were originally due to kickstart their tour on November 18.

If CSA goes with the reduced series, the next bone of contention would be the Boxing Day Test. CSA had reintroduced the traditional Test while announcing the itinerary for India's tour in July. However, the BCCI may demand that the Tests be played before limited-overs' games, thus taking a Boxing Day Test out of equation.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sysubrceq0 on September 7, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    when BCCI object the schedule on Jul 9th, CSA never approached BCCI to work out on schedule and reacted only when BCCI made arrangements for home tour with WI. new Chief Lorgat neither approached BCCI nor made any moves to meet them. Now all this cry from CSA and the cricketing fans that BCCI is doing wrong. When BCCI objected the schedule they want to reduce the ODI's not the Tests but because of no response from CSA, BCCI cannot wait and let go the opportunity to make some revenue by arranging a home tour. CSA bring this upon themselves and the cricket fans. BCCI did exactly what any business unit does.

  • BigINDFan on September 5, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    What's frustrating - BCCI acting like a child that CSA brought in Lorgat. What's sad - Fans have no voice in this matter What's unacceptable - Reducing an important series to a FTP formality

    As I mentioned in another post - ICC should get strict about tours and set standards on how many tests, ODIs and T20s are played. If not dissolve the ICC and let the boards organize everything. If Lorgat needs a position let him join the IPL, I am sure N Srini will love that :-)

  • AhaanSM on September 5, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    The BCCI is scared that SA will easily beat them and they don't want any criticism. That is the whole point.

  • The-Cricketer on September 5, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    "However, BCCI president N Srinivasan said after the board's working committee meeting on Sunday that the series is "definitely on."

    Did N Srinivasan said or Interim BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya ???

    P.S: I doubt its N Srinivasan as media already has other important questions to ask him ;)

  • dummy4fb on September 4, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    unnecessary confusion creation for the sa/india matches.not clear who should blamed for this?.csa/largator bcci.the itirnary should be fixed up immidietly so that franchasy worries in s.a. as well as confusions being created now by commencing the ticket sales for matches can be avoided.3 tests/5odis/2 20-20 matches would be ideal to complete the india/sa contests.

  • Rahul17_1983 on September 4, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Please keep 7 ODIs and scrap 1 test.It shuld be 1 test,7 ODIs and 2 T20. Tests are boring

  • dummy4fb on September 4, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    I am a fan of test cricket from the time of radio commentary. Having said that - how many of us go to watch test cricket as compared to one day or T20 cricket. Sadly Test cricket does not appeal to the present generation of fans. With empty stands in the grounds which cricket association will like to host Tests as compared to instant cricket. Money is required for the associations to run as well as to develop cricket facilities. If the fans wants Test Cricket they must start watching them. BCCI or for that matter any cricket association will like to have more one day and T20 due to fan following......

  • Des_65 on September 4, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    Everything can fall in place if we are not myopic. Players required for tests, ODIs & T20s may be different and hence two different series in two different countries can run at the same time if there is a particular pattern e.g. tests followed by ODIs followed by T20s. If some players are, however, required in more than one format, use players in the A-team who are, otherwise, just warming the benches. At least they will get some valuable experience. You can satisfy all people at the same time if you think out of the box.

  • JetsFanInDenver on September 4, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    SA should learn one lesson and that is never bite the hand that feeds you. Now they are paying for it. BCCI is very correct in its stand to feel offended. They did not want to deal with Lorgat and they should not be forced to do so.

    India has been very responsible in how it has helped cricket boards of Sri Lanka, WI, Zimb and Pakistan without which these boards would have gone under. Its very different from the times when Australia and England ruled the ICC with their money power and never cared for poorer nations playing cricket. And when you are paying the bills you should atleast be entitled to having a choice on who you want to deal with. Individuals like Lorgat have had an agenda against Indian board and it is obvious even now after taking over there have been no actions from Lorgat to reach out to BCCI. Take Lorgat out of equation and think India would play SA and infact have a shot at winning the series!

  • Spacetrekker on September 4, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Indian team isn't afraid of SA bowling attack or so and are adequately capable of winning the series. This is all rubbish floating around in the forum without any basis. Remove Lorgat and see the change within a moment. All will be back to normal. And test cricket is getting its due respect despite the empty stands it witnesses worldwide!!!