Shortened SA tour likely in December

N Srinivasan and Chris Nenzani have "in principle agreed" for India to play three ODIs, a warm-up game and two Tests in South Africa in December, ESPNcricinfo understands

Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Graeme Smith and MS Dhoni share the trophy after India drew their Test series in South Africa 1-1, South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 5th day, January 6, 2011

The final decision on the tour is expected after BCCI's working committee meeting on October 26  •  AFP

The BCCI president N Srinivasan and his CSA counterpart Chris Nenzani have "in principle agreed" for India to play three ODIs, a warm-up game and two Tests in South Africa in December, ESPNcricinfo understands. Although no formal statements have been released by the boards, some progress appears to have been made, two days after CSA offered to send "Lorgat on long leave".
"Following the board meeting, all we have at this stage is that discussions are still ongoing between BCCI and CSA," said a spokesperson from CSA.
The fate of the series will be known when Srinivasan and BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel present the proposed tour itinerary to the BCCI working committee in Chennai on October 26. The two met with Nenzani on the sidelines of the ICC Board meeting in London on Saturday for finalising the solution to a three-month impasse.
The working committee's decision is nothing but a formal approval once Srinivasan and Nenzani have worked out a solution. As a result, India is likely to start the tour with one-dayers in the first week of December and end it with the Boxing Day Test.
It is unclear whether the BCCI and CSA have reached an agreement over the fate of David Becker, the former ICC Head of Legal and one of several lawyers offering CSA advice, who had criticised BCCI's stand on FTP in the wake of India's decision to prune the South Africa tour. However, the BCCI is likely to pursue the matter despite having agreed to tour South Africa.
The BCCI's troubled relationship with CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat is understood to be the central reason for the tour being in jeopardy. Becker denied Lorgat had played any role in his decision to release a statement last week. "For the avoidance of any doubt, Mr Lorgat had nothing to do with my comments. They were my own personal views and neither he nor anyone else at CSA had anything to do with them," Becker said on Sunday.
There is understood to be a split in the CSA board which met on Sunday, with the dispute over over the conditions required for the tour to go ahead. Individuals in the know state that the split lies between the Cape Town based group of administrators and the rest, with the former backing Lorgat to stay and the latter not. CSA have not responded to any queries and the source believes if they are being this quiet they are "hiding something." The source also says the board is scrambling not to be "embarrassed by the Lorgat appointment."
The series between two of the most high-profile cricket nations has been hanging in balance since July 9, when the BCCI objected 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 contentious issues, the deadlock was broken when Nenzani was invited to India for a meeting after Srinivasan was reinstated as the BCCI chief earlier this month.
With additional reporting by Firdose Moonda

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo