India-South Africa ODIs in doubt

The three-match one-day series between India and South Africa due to take place in Belfast at the end of June is in doubt after the broadcast deal between Zee TV and the Indian board reportedly fell through.

"We have decided to scrap the deal," Ashish Kaul, senior vice-president of Zee Group, told Press Trust of India. Zee and the BCCI signed a five-year deal worth around US$219 million last year, the terms of which obliged India to play up to 25 "home" ODIs outside the country. The deal was believed to have been scrapped after a meeting yesterday - it is not clear at which side's instigation - and the BCCI are now in discussions with another broadcaster. The Irish board told Cricinfo that a statement will be released soon.

Kaul said "the attitude of the BCCI" was to be blamed for the fall-out. "This is because of the double standards adopted by the BCCI. While Nimbus [who hold the telecast rights for matches played in India till 2008-09] were given a hefty rebate on the renegotiated price, they have not even bothered to discuss the issue with us. Also, apart from the Ireland and Scotland matches, they have not intimated us the whole calendar."

Nimbus are in talks with BCCI to reduce the rights acquisition amount from US$612 million for the losses incurred by the company due to the encryption row. However, no rebate figure has been agreed upon on yet.

Lalit Modi, the BCCI vice-president, was non-committal, though. He told Cricinfo: "Nothing is finalised yet. We're working on it. Regarding the cancellation of the Ireland series, we can't comment at this stage."

The series in Ireland was arranged by Warren Deutrom, the Irish Cricket Union's CEO, and would have earned his board around US$600,000. The move had caused friction between the ICU and the ECB as the dates clashed with international matches in England.

India and South Africa were both due to play one-off ODIs against Ireland before the main series, and those matches are also in doubt. South Africa will almost certainly not travel for that game alone, but India might still be persuaded to play games in Ireland as they are due to start their tour of England with a game against Pakistan in Glasgow on July 3.