India news September 17, 2013

Decision on SA tour deferred till month end

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