Johannesburg – The domestic cricket season for the professionals starts on Friday at SuperSport Park in Centurion. The schedule’s been out for months and the first part of the season, encompassing the 50-over Momentum One-Day Cup, will be wrapped up by November 15.
Six days later, the first T20 International between India and South Africa is supposed to take place at the Wanderers.
Bless Cricket South Africa and their optimistic little hearts, because at Tuesday’s launch of this season’s Momentum One-Day Cup, in the media packs they handed out, along with all the domestic fixtures (for the Sunfoil Series and the RamSlam) there was a sheet, with the International fixtures for the 2013/14 summer. It included the three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20 matches for India. There is a pair of two-day warm-up games as well as a T20 warm-up match. At the bottom of the sheet there’s Australia’s tour here starting in February – three T20s and three Tests.
The tour should go ahead as planned – there’ve been no complaints from Cricket Australia about CSA unilaterally releasing a schedule.
The BCCI, through its secretary Sanjay Patel, has finally outlined a reason why they are so angry with Cricket SA. Haroon Lorgat’s name wasn’t mentioned, presumably they’re okay with him now being the chief executive of CSA – maybe Chris Nenzani can ask Narayanaswami Srinivasan that when he meets him on Friday or Saturday.
There was some remarkable bluster from Patel this week that included; Lorgat couldn’t come and meet with Srinivasan and what right did CSA have telling the BCCI that the Indian team “should be on the road for more than three-four months,” or the reminder that “my boys are not machines, they need a break”.
Those would be many of the same boys who less than a week after the World Cup in 2011 were playing in the IPL. The same boys who will play five Tests in 42 days in England next year. Patel’s boys are not machines until it suits his and the other BCCI administrators’ pockets.
I’m sure Nenzani would like to tell Srinivasan exactly that when they have their meeting. He won’t. He can’t. Cricket SA and the sport’s future in this country depends on Nenzani adopting a diplomatic tone. I just hope he doesn’t adopt a compliant one.
Nenzani and Cricket SA have maintained a stony silence these past few weeks, even as Patel has tossed some insulting barbs their way – is he saying CSA just drew up a schedule without talking to anyone at the BCCI, thus showing total disregard for his “boys”?
It’s time for CSA to show strength and courage. Be diplomatic Mr Nenzani, but don’t be a sycophant.