Cape Town – Local cricket unions are in the dark as to who will be hosting games against India in December, if, as expected, a shortened tour by the world champions takes place then.
Reports emanating from India suggest the tour will comprise three one-day internationals, followed by a warm-up game, ahead of two Tests.
But this schedule means that several grounds will not feature India games (to say nothing of the potential loss in TV revenue for Cricket South Africa).
Considering the Tests, the two standards for any home series are the Boxing Day Test at Kingsmead in Durban, and the New Year’s Test at Newlands. But the Wanderers is regarded as the country’s premier venue – and all three grounds cannot get a Test if there are only two.
One report suggested that the second of the two India Tests would be completed by the end of December, whereas Newlands usually has a Test scheduled in the first week of January.
ESPN Cricinfo reported that the fate of the series would be known when Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan and their secretary Sanjay Patel present the proposed tour itinerary to the BCCI working committee in Chennai on October 26.
The two met with Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani on the sidelines of the ICC Board meeting in London on Saturday to finalise the solution to a three-month impasse.
WP Cricket Association chief executive André Odendaal said he did not know how matches would be allocated, although he was hopeful that Cape Town would get one of the Tests.
“There are lots of rumours around,” he said.
Odendaal added that it was possible that some kind of notification would take place today around the tour, after the CSA representatives who had met their Indian counterparts in London had returned and had an opportunity to discuss the schedule here. The delay in finalising an itinerary for an Indian visit to South Africa stems from the BCCI’s unhappiness at former ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat being appointed CEO by Cricket SA.
The BCCI had clashed with Lorgat while he was still head of the world body based in Dubai. The BCCI had also objected to a much longer tour itinerary, featuring among other things, three Tests, a day after it was announced by CSA on July 9.