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September 6, 2013
Haroon Lorgat, Cricket South Africa's CEO, will meet BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel in Dubai in mid-September to "work out the best possible schedule" for India's upcoming tour, the South African board has said. CSA said the two officials will meet on the sidelines of the ICC's chief executives' committee meeting, scheduled for September 16-17, before BCCI interim head Jagmohan Dalmiya confirmed that the series was "never off".
"There has rightly been concern about reports of a shortened tour by India but I am looking forward to meeting Sanjay so that we can work out the best possible schedule under the present circumstances," Lorgat said in a CSA release. "As custodians we have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the game and all our stakeholders."
Dalmiya told PTI: "We are likely to announce the fixtures after our AGM [slated for September 29]. The tour was never off and there was no issue or deadlock [with CSA]. We will just need to work out the modalities and I'm confident it would be done in due course."*
The Indian board had rejected the itinerary announced by CSA in July, which had India touring for three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20s between November and January. The tour's schedule remains in limbo now, with the BCCI having since announced the dates for other series which overlap with this itinerary.
This is widely accepted to be the result of the cracks that have developed in CSA's relationship with the BCCI ever since Lorgat's appointment as board chief in July. The Indian board, who was against his appointment, is also believed to be considering withdrawing CSA's stake in the Champions League T20, to have announced this year's tournament's fixtures without consulting with CSA, and to have told CSA staff that their services were not required in running the tournament in India. But Lorgat said both boards are working on "strengthening" the good relationship they've enjoyed over the past two decades.
"It is clear to me that both our boards are committed to working together to ensure the wonderful relationship we have had for the past 22 years is strengthened," he said. "As South Africans we will always be grateful to the Indian Government for the leading role they played in first enforcing the sports boycott during the dark years of apartheid and later, together with the BCCI, facilitating our return to the world family of cricket nations."
Lorgat also asked South African cricket's various partners to show "patience" with regards to the India series. "While we would not want to disappoint our fans and stakeholders and keep them abreast of developments, we have to follow official communication protocols in dealing with this matter. So we ask for patience and support as we engage our counterparts at the BCCI."
Earlier, some of the franchises who were scheduled to host India over the South African summer had said they were in the dark about the situation, and were uncertain about how to move ahead on matters like the sale of tickets for the scheduled matches. "All we know is what we have read [in the press]," Gauteng's CEO Cassim Docrat had said. Also, longstanding South African cricket sponsor SABMiller, the company behind Castle Lager, had expressed concern in the media over a trimmed tour and said it was holding discussions with CSA over the "implications of a shortened tour".
*18.15GMT, September 6: This article has been updated with Jagmohan Dalmiya's quotes
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