India in South Africa 2013-14 October 17, 2013

Decision on India's SA tour likely 'before weekend'

There appears to be headway into the discussions between Cricket South Africa and the BCCI, taking place over India's tour to South Africa, even before the heads of the two boards meet in London as part of the ICC's executive board. The final decision with regard to the tour is expected to be made "before the weekend".

During a "fruitful" discussion between both the parties in Mumbai on October 12, the BCCI had offered to play two Tests and three ODIs in the month of December on the condition that CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat is not involved in India affairs in future.

ESPNcricinfo understands that CSA has offered to "send Lorgat on long leave" in order to ensure that the tour go ahead.

It is also understood that CSA has also informed the BCCI bosses that they would be working out a plan before the end of the tour to ensure Lorgat is not involved in future dealings with the BCCI.

Should CSA's proposal to keep Lorgat out of any engagement with the BCCI come through, the itinerary for the tour of South Africa is being mulled by the BCCI. There is a possibility that the BCCI might even accede to CSA's wish to play three Tests, instead of two, should discussions end in agreement. If the BCCI agrees to keep its team in South Africa for the New Year's Test, that would help CSA reduce its projected loss in revenue.

The Indian board is known to have had tetchy relations with Lorgat during his stint as ICC CEO.

The series between India and South Africa has been hanging in balance since July 9, when the BCCI raised objections to the tour itinerary a day after it was announced by CSA. Previously, it had raised "concerns" over Lorgat being in the running for the CSA top job.

While a meeting between Sanjay Patel and Lorgat in Dubai last month failed to resolve the boards' issues, the deadlock was broken when CSA president Chris Nenzani was invited to India for a meeting after N Srinivasan was reinstated as the BCCI chief in early October.

With inputs from Firdose Moonda

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo