Even as the deadlock over the schedule of the India-South Africa series remains unsolved, Cricket South Africa’s CEO Haroon Lorgat will meet BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel at the Chief Executives' Meet at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai on September 16 and 17, It is here that the two parties will try to resolve the impasse over the tour. Remember CSA had recently announced a schedule of three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20 Internationals for the tour to which BCCI objecting stating firmly that they weren’t consulted before this itinerary was announced.
Many in cricketing circles though believe that there may be more than meets the eye. It is no secret that the BCCI did not enjoy a healthy relationship with Lorgat at the time when he was the helm of affairs at the ICC. This might just be one of the reasons the BCCI might not be too keen on co-operating with Lorgat. It is very well known that the Indian cricket board has the muscle power to pull off what they want. Since Lorgat is now cornered he has even agreed to apologise to the Indian board.
As an Indian fan, one can only hope that the matter gets resolved amicably and in a fair manner. Ego should not come between best possible India-South Africa series schedule. The three-Test, seven ODI and two T20 international was actually the perfect one for a India-South Africa series. Remember, the Proteas are the top Test team in the world and as such it is only fair that India play a minimum of three Tests in South Africa. Ideally, they should be playing four, if they are willing to play as many in England and Australia, why not in South Africa? A two-Test match series would be like unfinished business.
It is really nothing short of bizarre that India are organising home series’ against West Indies and New Zealand. The most unfortunate part is that they are organising it in such a way that one is eating into the start of the proposed South African tour and the other cutting into the end portion of the schedule that CSA had put out. The way the two series’ have been scheduled, it seems the BCCI is purposely making an effort to cut short the South African tour. Else, why would they suddenly announce these two series’ when they were well aware that there was a long African safari in the offing?
Under the current circumstances, it would be difficult for the originally proposed lengthy tour of South Africa to go on. But, if the series indeed gets curtailed to two Tests and three ODIs, as is being suggested, it would be a real farce. In fact such a schedule would be akin to India touring Zimbabwe, and would be an embarrassment to both countries. The final call on the same would of course be taken by the BCCI following the Chief Executives' Meet. All we can do is hope for the best.
--By A Cricket Analyst