Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
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Cricket South Africa created the current impasse with the BCCI by going against protocol in announcing unilaterally the schedule for India's tour, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel has said. The BCCI is "waiting", Patel said, without specifying what it was waiting for.
The schedule was announced by CSA in early July, prompting a swift and sharp response by the BCCI that left relations between the two in a state of limbo. A CSA spoksesman said the board was not going to respond to Patel's comments.
"Things are going [on] since long. Certain things have to be put in right perspective. Let me inform you that BCCI in normal circumstances would have done anything [for the tour to proceed]. But the protocol of finalising any series is joint declaration. But that declaration was originally done without the BCCI's approval. So we are waiting," Patel said in Mumbai.
Patel did not elaborate on what the BCCI was waiting for, since a meeting between him and CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat on the sidelines of the ICC board meeting in Dubai failed to break the deadlock. ESPNcricinfo understands Patel had promised CSA that they would hear from the BCCI after the AGM on September 29. However, despite N Srinivasan's election as BCCI president, the board's top brass has decided to wait on finalising the tour itinerary until the Supreme Court allows Srinivasan to discharge duties as the BCCI chief. The court is going to hear the matter next on October 7.
With the uncertainty over the South Africa tour increasing, Patel said the BCCI was confident of having an alternate plan in case it was cancelled. "[A] number of countries are ready to play with India. There is no problem at all," he said. He said there was no plan to host a tri-series involving Pakistan and Sri Lanka "at the moment" but the board had already demonstrated its ability to organise series at short notice - as was evident from the West Indies series.
"There were a couple of reasons [for organising the West Indies series] because BCCI is also committed to its local fans. Somehow, for the season 2013-14, the home series are only 24 days, if I am not wrong," Patel said. "So obviously we were worried about how to do the home series and we are quite happy that the West Indies series has been finalised."
Patel also set aside Mumbai Cricket Association's objection to the decision to resume international cricket at the Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. CCI has a special voting right as per the BCCI constitution and the AGM decided to treat it as a separate unit, unlike in the past when the MCA used to decide whether to allot matches to the Brabourne Stadium or not.
"Considering the historical background of CCI as well as all the help [they have provided] as and when required… When the venue questions have arisen, CCI is always there to support and giving some match [to them] won't be out of turn or something like that," Patel said. "We considered that some matches will be allocated. MCA's rotation and everything remains the same. It has got nothing to do with it. This will be an additional allotment, if at all."
During the last Test hosted at Braboune in December 2009, MCA and CCI were involved in a dispute over payment of rent. However, international cricket returned to the historic venue during the Women's World Cup earlier this year.