India in South Africa 2013-14 October 30, 2013

Cape Town misses out on India fixtures

ESPNcricinfo staff

Johannesburg and Durban will host India for an ODI and a Test each in December, while Centurion will also stage a one-dayer. Cape Town has not received a single fixture in the itinerary for the three ODIs and two Tests, which the BCCI and Cricket South Africa announced today, ending months of uncertainty over India's tour to South Africa.

India will arrive in South Africa on December 2 and play the first ODI at the Wanderers on December 5. They will play a two-day game in Benoni after the one-dayers as a warm-up to the first Test, which begins on December 18, also at the Wanderers.

"After the completion of our two Test matches against India we will have a further three Tests against Australia," CSA president Chris Nenzani said. "This will allow all of our five premier Test match venues to host a five-day match. I would also like to assure all our stakeholders that we are working on plans to fill the gaps in our international itinerary for the 2013-14 season."

His remarks referred primarily to Cape Town missing out on a Test - Newlands traditionally hosts the traditional New Year's Test, which has now been scrapped. A CSA spokesman said: "Because of the truncated nature of the tour it was necessary to centralise venues as much as possible. We are working on alternative plans to fill the gaps in our home international summer. This will not necessarily be at the New Year."

However, the decision seemed to have caught Western Province, the region where Cape Town is located."To go from having Sachin Tendulkar's 200th test to nothing is a big shock to us," Andre Odendaal, CEO of Western Province, said. "We lose several million [rand] in revenue."

One of the primary reasons the BCCI did not want India's tour of South Africa to spill over into 2014 was the lack of a team sponsor. The current contract with Sahara ends on December 31 and neither Sahara nor the BCCI is keen on extending the decade-long association.

Had India played a New Year's Test in South Africa, the BCCI would have had to either request Sahara to continue as the sponsor for the entire series, or change sponsors midway. The Sahara option was not viable because of its dispute with the board, which resulted in the termination of the Pune Warriors IPL franchise.

The itinerary announced today gave the BCCI a two-week window in January to invite and open bids for a new title sponsor between the South Africa and New Zealand tours. India are scheduled to leave for New Zealand on January 14.

The shortened tour of South Africa will also allow the BCCI to keep their promise of giving the India players a break between two overseas tours, a point the board secretary Sanjay Patel had emphasised through the impasse with CSA. Some players will now also be able to play in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals from January 8 to 12.

While the BCCI didn't mention the sponsorship issue during their negotiations with CSA, it has been learned that the players' participation in Ranji Trophy quarter-finals was one of the reasons for India's inability to play a New Year's Test.

That India would tour South Africa was confirmed only on October 21, ending an impasse that had begun in July, when CSA announced an itinerary that the BCCI objected to, claiming that the South African board had acted unilaterally.

However, though there was no official statement, the sticking point seemed to be CSA's appointment of Haroon Lorgat as its chief executive despite a series of run-ins between Lorgat and the BCCI during his tenure as ICC chief. CSA agreed that Lorgat would not be involved in affairs involving the BCCI and CSA until an independent investigation into the controversial comments made by the ICC's former legal head David Becker, and Lorgat's alleged role in it, was completed.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Suren on October 31, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    Enough of the politics bashing ... here comes my Indian squad of 16 ..... what ya say saffers ..... Here is my 16-Man India Test Squad After Sachins Retirement. We should play horses for courses. Bench Ashwin and play Ishwar Pandey in the playing eleven in SA/England/NZ ... If any of the top batsmen get injured play Ambati Rayudu. Seems like Jaddu is injured ... if that takes a long time to recover I would keep Baba Aparajith on reserve to get India cap. 1)Shikhar Dhawan 2)Ajinkya Rahane 3)Pujara 4)Rohit 5)Virat Kohli 6)M.S.Dhoni 7)R.Jadeja/Baba Aparajith 8)Ashwin 9)Zaheer 10)Bhuvi 11)Umesh Yadav 12)Ishwar Pandey 13)Ohja 14)Amit Mishra 15)Ambati Rayudu 16)Mohammed Shami

  • greig on October 31, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    More disgraceful manipulation from the BCCI. We lose our strongest Test ground (Newlands) and have to play on our weakest (Durban). Then India go off to play much weaker opposition for Sachin and we are left with another window of not playing test cricket. First Sri Lanka pulled out of their Test matches and now India.

    As a Saffa fan this is one of the best Test teams we have ever had and we are constantly denied opportunity to watch them play. It just seems that everything is at the BCCIs terms - even the people we appoint to run CSA.

  • philip on October 31, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    This is terrible. Not only have the Indians forced a miserably shortened tour, they have also lost the Test at SAs fortress of Newlands and given them a Test at Durban which is our Bogey ground and more like a home match for India. What an own-goal. They should rather have told the BCCI to take their series and keep it and found another team to tour. Even a Summer of competitive full-strength provincial cricket is better than this aberration.

  • Dummy4 on October 31, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    So the 2 Cities with High rainfall in December get the Tests, and the Dry summer Cape Town, gets Zero, looks like a rained out Test series

  • Dummy4 on October 31, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @satishchandar - You are being a little economical with the truth or to be fair you are being fed an economical version.

    The schedule was discussed with the BCCI before it was released. There are plenty of emails and there were calls. The BCCI were only willing to sign off after they had discussed all other options both sides of New Year. How do you plan a tour at the end of October? The BCCI had no intention of coming in November UNLESS they couldnt fill their November slot with the WI or someone else. Was this disclosed?

    As for Lorgat. Lorgat the ICC CEO was acting under the instructions of the ICC Board to which India provides a member. He was not acting outside his mandate.

  • Itty on October 31, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    @Peter Dembitzer -- What's your evidence that India dictated the choice of venue? And why would the choose Durban? What is more important -- crowd support or a more friendly track. I know the record of other sides in Cape Town, but India almost won the test there last time.

  • Dummy4 on October 31, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Now we have India dictating to the home country where tests should be played. Playing India in Durban is insane, like playing the All Blacks in a winner takes all test at Newlands.

  • Pravin on October 31, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    To all the people shouting from the rooftops about India chickening out....its one of the rare 2 match series India are playing, otherwise they always play a 3 match series (Sri Lanka and Pakistan too). How many 3 match series has SA played in the subcontinent in last decade...1, they don't even want to tour Sri Lanka. Such a skewed stat and still no SA fan has ever questioned it.

    As for the venues, sadly two test matches can be played in 2 venues only and as pointed out they wanted to cover all the 5 venues and will cover the rest 3 with Australia. What will you rather have...India play all its 4 innings in Newlands while SA plays its innings at other venues?

    Its all fine to condemn the boards if things are not happening as they should. (I also keep doing that for ICC and BCCI..I for one even wanted a 4 match series leave apart a 3 match one). But its quite stupid to bring out all these awful views and childish reasons. Indians atleast condemn BCCI, yet to see others condemn theirs

  • Satish Chandar on October 31, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    What is so great about the headlines? All three Johannanesberg, Newlands and Durban are great test venues and you got only 2 test matches.. The whiners will whine for the left out venue. Had Lorgat had the decency of discussing the schedule with BCCI before making it to media, they might have tried to snick in some more games in any format..

    Really cricket is the loser but why are the people blaming BCCI alone here? Lorgat was locking horns with BCCI all the way when in ICC and he did the same now to instigate them again and his board(the one which he is leading now) faces the re-action from BCCI..

  • Dummy4 on October 31, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Enough to see how BCCI/INDIA is poor on this forum as per usual comments by some experts (BCCI/India lovers). Nothing can be achieved here other than personal hatred opinions. I could know here from SA fans that their Rank no.1 team is much dependent on locations. Shocking!!!! If Newlands is not there, they can't win. Sometimes fans unnecessarily tend to put awful views. SA fans should compare their current with Hansie's team & surely would know better the difference. It's terrible to see in UAE how their current batsmen are going to the centre for mere attendance only where Tsotsobe/Parnell hitting same Ajmal out of the park. It looked same as in recent SL's thrashing 4-1 tour they got. SA fans should move on to enjoy best of cricket & cricket only. Both administrative boards had presented here about their limitations because of some other issues & those facts can't be overlooked by fans that are focusing on bashing only. Lorgat issue still remained mere perception only.

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