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Decision on SA tour deferred till month end

Firdose Moonda

September 17, 2013

Comments: 84 | Text size: A | A

Haroon Lorgat speaks to the media after the ICC executive board meeting, Dubai, April 16, 2012
Haroon Lorgat: "We will now have to wait for the BCCI's AGM (on September 29) to be completed before any tour schedule can be confirmed" © Getty Images
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Uncertainty remains over India's tour to South Africa this summer after CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat and BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel met in Dubai. The pair held talks on Monday evening, while both were attending the ICC Chief Executives' Conference, but did not reach any understanding on the number of matches or the dates for India's tour. CSA said confirmation will only be reached after the BCCI's AGM on September 29.

Although CSA would be hopeful the BCCI arrives at a final decision by end of this month, the likelihood of a longer wait cannot be ruled out. ESPNcricinfo has learned that N Srinivasan, if he succeeds in extending his tenure as BCCI president for another year, will meet the CSA president Chris Nenzani at the ICC board meeting in London on October 16 and 17 to finalise the tour.

The itinerary, as announced by CSA in July, contained three Tests, seven ODIs and two Twenty20s but India objected to it, saying it was without their consultation. They have since shortened the window for the tour, which was due to begin on November 18 and end on January 19 from 60 days to around 40 by a scheduling a home series against West Indies and bringing forward their tour to New Zealand.

The time left may allow for the ICC minimum requirement of two Tests and three ODIs but the Dubai meeting gave no hint of that. Lorgat remains hopeful a solution will be found.

"I am happy to say that we had a constructive meeting and I would like to thank Sanjay for his friendliness and support in trying to find a way forward," Lorgat said. "After listening to Sanjay, it is clear that we will now have to wait for the BCCI's AGM to be completed before any tour schedule can be confirmed."

The BCCI's annual meeting could prove decisive in the finalisation of the tour dates, because it will determine the shape of the organisation's leadership. It is widely expected Srinivasan will be re-elected.

Srinivasan and Lorgat have a history of bitterness: Srinivasan requested an investigation into Lorgat by the ICC ethics committee, and they clashed over India's request for a tax documents during the 2011 World Cup.

No communication between the two boards was held between then and the Dubai meeting. What has come out of the BCCI is other fixtures - home Tests against West Indies to mark Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test and an ODI against New Zealand that is due to played on the last day of the Wanderers Test between India and South Africa. There is also talk of a tri-series between India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan due for late November.

CSA have not commented either and as far as their affiliates are concerned, the schedule as announced, still stands. Even their ticket-selling partner, Ticketpros, has the fixtures listed as CSA publicised them although they can only be purchased from October 28.

The relationship between CSA and the BCCI is considered to be at at all-time low but Lorgat's statement seemed to suggest all is well. "It is key for all of us to make sure that the good relationship between our respective Boards is maintained and, in fact, strengthened and that we also honour the proud history between our two countries," he said. "Our Board Presidents are also in discussion and we will now arrange for them to meet soon after the BCCI AGM."

With inputs from Nagraj Gollapudi

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by IndianSRTfan on (September 20, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

@Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (September 20, 2013, 11:47 GMT): Very thoughtful input as usual. However this "so much worse team" has drawn two series both home and away with the same team that gave a sound thrashing to your team at your home. Just saying. So plz excuse us if we don't take you seriously.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (September 20, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

Now that India are such a worse team than the top two teams (South Africa and England), they are now too scared of getting thrashed in another test series. You wouldn't see the top teams in the world acting like this.

Posted by Dbag on (September 20, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

Scheduling tours should be the preserve of the ICC. Anything less leaves the whole Test Ranking System at the mercy of the more powerful board interests if they are able to weasel around difficult fixtures. Playing puerile politics with the game hardly glorifies the sport or maintains credibility of the system either.

India's thinking is pretty transparent as they clearly recognise they have neither the talent nor stomach to face a full tour against the world number one. Pathetically churlish vendetta's should not be the allowed to smokescreen the real issue at hand here: cowardice.

Power need to be wrested from the BCCI who do little more than degrade the game with self interest and facile trinketry.

Leadership, Integrity and Strength please ICC. Protect our, and your, game.

Posted by LionsofLanka on (September 20, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

@Greatest_Game

You have poor knowledge about great cricket lover country Sri Lanka. You say Sri Lanka played highest numbers in ODIs against India. Figure is 143 (not 149) out of which we won 53 but you didn't mention & highlighted on our 78 losses. Sri Lanka is youngest country in the world to win world cup; made Debut in cricket ODI at 1975; Won the world cup in 1996; great achievement in 21 years only. South Africa made debut in 1889 but still in waiting. God knows when will be good day for them in spite of RANK no.1. Sri Lanka made Test debut in 1982, won 1st Test in 3 years in 1985. Sri Lanka v/s South Africa ODI- SL Lead by 28-26 TEST- SA lead by 10-5. You are bashing ZIM, SL & BD for not being Test NO.1. Your perspective towards these nations displayed in distinct. Thanks to India, they respect us & play with us. Coz your nation avoids us, ZIM & BD. It requires frequent playing with top teams to be no.1 in TESTS. Sadly SA, AUS, ENG have different vision.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

India should go ahead for this tour, the mindset between 2 boards should be closer as it was in their earliar days. We r eagery waiting for this series . If the tour is shortained ,there must be at least 3 tests , & it will be joyous if Tendulkar plays the series .

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 19, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

@ LionsofLanka Dale Steyn just came back from a long injury layoff. Conceding a few runs in Mohali to a Lankan club team means nothing compared to five years unchallenged as the highest ranked test bowler. Steyn will regain his form, & what better way to get back into cricket than in some does not matter T20 against some unknown club team. Besides, the Lankans lost anyway.

Only five nations, and not "every nation," have won the world cup. You seem to lack clear understanding of WC history.

Sri Lanka cancelled the test series, not South Africa. SA was ready and willing to play, SL was not. SL backed out & ran away. SA knows exactly the reality of where it's test team stands - at Number One, a position no Sri Lankan team has EVER held! (SL is presently in 7th place, 47 points behind SA.) Only 3 teams have NEVER reached the no. 1 test ranking: Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka. SL in good company there!

Sri Lanka does hold one record: most ODI games (149) & losses (78) vs India!

Posted by Spiritofcricket99 on (September 19, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

The ICC should be planning tour itineraries, as this would make the whole process much more objective and legitimate. The more I read, the more the BCCI position appears to be linked to retaining Indias test ranking re: Test Championship, or having a home test match for Tendulkar's 200th - vs easier opposition. If either of these 'theories' is correct it amounts of corruption imho.

Posted by Lorrie01 on (September 19, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

Very simple math on India's behalf really. Let's not play SA in SA where we are most likely to lose, Rather play a weaker NZ where we will gain more test ranking points.

Posted by Pearsfan on (September 18, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

Pretty disgraceful stuff this.

While the best team in the world sit idle, mediocre England and Australia sides play out a never ending ashes series and the BCCI bring in WI to take a fall in a money spinning home series. When decisions about fixture scheduling are made on the basis of short sighted personality politics and purely financial considerations the sport suffers.

India has the market but the rest of the cricket world supplies the product. Cricket needs marquee meaningful series like Ind v SA.

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