South Africa news September 30, 2013

SA players want CSA, BCCI to sort fixtures soon


South Africa's players would like to see an "urgent engagement" between their board, CSA, and its Indian counterpart, the BCCI, to resolve fixtures over this summer's India series. The national team is due to leave for the UAE this Friday but their home tour against India has no confirmed itinerary after the BCCI objected to CSA's schedule of three Tests, seven ODIs and two Twenty20s. 

Tony Irish, the South African Cricketer's Association (SACA) chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo that the BCCI's leadership structure has been formalised following yesterday's AGM and the players are hopeful the series can be discussed as a matter of importance. ICC chief executive Dave Richardson also spoke on the issue for the first time when he said they could not intervene in bilateral arrangements.

"This is the main tour of the summer and has a massive financial implication on cricket. We are about six weeks away from it and to have it all up in the air is really worrying and frustrating," Irish said. "The players want to see it sorted out. Until yesterday, CSA did not know who they were dealing with at the BCCI because they had not had their election but now that that is sorted it, they need to do whatever it takes to get the discussion going." 

CSA has confirmed it is awaiting the dates of a meeting with the BCCI, although it was earlier mooted that the presidents of the boards would meet at the ICC board meeting on October 16 and 17. 

Irish, in the meanwhile, met with all the players as part of his usual pre-season get together and said the issue of the India tour came up among many of them. "The players are stakeholders in the game and will be affected by whatever happens," he said, explaining the impact is two-fold. "It's not just a financial thing, it's also about the opportunity to play in in a high-profile Test series and substantial limited-overs competitions." 

The South Africa Test team, ranked No. 1 in the world, has not played a match since February. They were due a bumper summer including two Tests against Pakistan and three each against India and Australia in a bid to extend their lead at the top of the rankings. "This is the best Test team we have ever had and it's a very settled unit. They need to be playing in order to keep that momentum," Irish said. 

While seven ODIs were considered overkill, the financial gains would have benefitted South Africa's smaller grounds. Should the tour be curtailed, which seems a certainty in light of India's other series against West Indies and New Zealand, South African cricket could lose up to R200 million (US$20 million).

Irish and the players are not the only people who want to see the issue sorted out. South Africa's provincial affiliates are anxious to know who will host matches and even Richardson expressed concern. "The ICC does not like the fact that two of its strongest members are in dispute. Historically, South Africa and India have been the strongest of allies. The game needs both," he told South Africa's Sunday Times

But Richardson explained why the ICC cannot intervene in bilateral arrangements. "Constitutionally we are a members' organisation. The ICC only has as much authority over the members as the members are prepared to give it. The ICC currently does not have the authority to determine the FTP. The FTP schedule was determined by agreement between the full members." 

The FTP is a non-binding agreement and should countries not reach consensus over the composition of tours, the ICC requires them to play a minimum of two Tests and three ODIs. It looks increasingly likely that maybe that's all South Africa will get out of India this summer, although Graeme Smith's team would obviously like more.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on October 7, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @The_bowlers_Holding. Still India is the only Asian team to level a test series in SA recently where others unable to score 50! Then what?

  • Rob on October 5, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Fast_Track_Bully on (October 4, 2013, 4:38 GMT) It is you who needs to check your facts asiacricket1234 on (October 2, 2013, 20:50 GMT) is clearly referring to overseas TEST matches, many Indian fans conveniently refer to the ODI team to attempt to paper over the cracks of the test team overseas pathetic record.

  • Manesh on October 4, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    @ asiacricket1234. In that case, Aus should refuse to tour India, and Pakistan will not play to any other team! You convincingly forgot that India won almost all ODI matches in recent times. Hope you will do some home work before posting such 'knowledge'. :P

  • Farhan on October 2, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    it would be a bad idea from BCCI if they choose to send Indian team to SA. After last year's humiliation and losing series to England at home Indian fans seemed to lost the wish of gloating online but since they whitewashed Australia Indian fan again start claiming that they are the best team in the world etc. Now if they send Indian team to SA they are gonna get whitewashed. Anyone with a decent cricket knowledge with agree with that and that will shut up Indian fan God Knows for how long. So for the sake of Indian fan BCCI should refuse to tour SA :P

  • Damon on October 2, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    How can there not be a governing body to handle conflicts like this? What is the point of the ICC? The ICC has no authority... but "the ICC requires them to play a minimum of two Tests and three ODIs." if it has no authority how can it equire? If players in all sports decided what happen then there will be chaos.. oops to late! What happens when some bloated ego rubs some equally bloated ego the wrong way? for example the head of CA or ECB.. will there be no ashes? And how is it that the players have a code of conduct but not the administrators? And finally to all those who are saying that this is CSA's fault, remember CSA wants to play cricket it's the BCCI that has not come up with an alternate schedule.. the 29 of september has come and gone and still nothing has been offered. Captains are suspended or have match fees docked for slow over rates.. or bowlers for running on the pitch.. but administrators can behave like this? Dave Richardson get a real job please!

  • Rob on October 2, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Sandip Manjrekar on (October 1, 2013, 10:00 GMT) You have some good stats there matey, the one you forgot maybe is he has played 199 tests (more than anyone else) compared to the clearly superior Hammond's 85.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    @hillbumper, im not going to write the same thing again when asked the same thing in a different bottle again :P . Meanwhile, my mind is full of Brad Hodge today, whaddaplaya! wow!

  • Art on October 1, 2013, 21:34 GMT

    Not having a schedule for the games only 7 weeks ahead of the supposed first fixture - 21 November - is absolutely shambolic. At least SA were trying to get some dates locked down. Then the BCCI slapped in the series against the West Indies, and it's chaos because they're forcing games to move.

    Now they're suggesting waiting another two weeks before they discuss it? The grounds need to prepare and budget a year in advance. The spectators want to book tickets months in advance. The number of games and the venues should have been confirmed last year. The dates should have been confirmed months ago. It needs to be sorted now to limit the damage so far as possible.

    The Indian tour of England next year has its dates decided already. If the BCCI mess around with that as well, I'll be livid.

  • Andy on October 1, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    2nd_slip, THE ASHES are the the most anticipated series of the year, even though it's the second one! I have said this many times before (and it's never been published like this one won't), stop letting the BCCI rule world cricket, the ICC have to stand up to the BCCI and tell them what the rules are, like DRS, etc and not let them DICTATE as they are now. Until such time, every time BCCI don't like it they will just get awkward. Just ban every player from playing in thecIPL, then their attitude will change, end of.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    @Nixnixon, you still dont see the point do you. I wasn't saying S.A. 'should' be not in the top odi list. Instead, the Point was, to remove SA from that list itself even if they havent won, is flawed. lol talk about not getting the message :D. And even if we did go by your yardstick...won in 98?!!? and not even a world cup at that! That gives you the right to call yourself a respectable ODI side!? According to my books, a big YES,cos a team quality is measured by more than winning in just one or two countries. Agreed that such teams cannot be called world beaters, but you cant rubbish India if they did not win in SA, and HEnce my example to prove a point, hope you got that point finally friend.