JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani described the process of finalising the schedule for India’s tour here this summer as “very frustrating” and has called on the International Cricket Council to establish a more stringent policy regarding the confirmation of dates for international matches.
Cricket SA is still awaiting confirmation as to when India will tour here this summer, with CSA already have given up on accommodating Virat Kohli’s side for the Boxing Day Test.
The issue was on the agenda of a CSA Board meeting held on Saturday afternoon, with the organisation’s CEO Haroon Lorgat saying he was hoping to speak an official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in the next 24 hours.
The composition of the tour is not at issue – South Africa will face India in four Tests, five One-Day and three T20 Internationals – but when that tour starts remains a mystery.
“We have agreed on the content, the issue is how do we fit in that content – it’s a very frustrating experience, but we are always hopeful that we can find something workable,” said Nenzani.
With CSA looking at other options for a one-off Test over the Boxing Day period, the organisation is keen that the series with India starts as close as possible to the traditional dates when the New Year’s Test at Newlands is usually played.
“It’s important, we believe, to retain that Test match starting date, especially in view of the current climate where we want to promote Test cricket,” said Lorgat.
Recent reports from India have implied that the Indians – who will be hosting Sri Lanka for a Test series that finishes on December 24 – want at least two matches to acclimatise to conditions before the Test series against the Proteas.
In his presidential address at Cricket SA’s AGM, which was held on Saturday morning, Nenzani called on the ICC to retake ownership of the Future Tours Programme, something that the ICC relinquished in 2014 when the administration of the organisation fell under the leadership of what became known as the ‘big three’ – India, England and Australia.
“The ICC must own the FTP to ensure it benefits big and small cricket nations,” Nenzani told the AGM.
“If you don’t have a centrally controlled FTP programme, these issues come up, but if the ICC promotes Test cricket, then you have to give everybody fair chance and their place in the sun.”
Meanwhile, CSA also confirmed it had made a budgeted for loss in the last financial year of just over R158 million.
The organisation bases its finances on a four-year plan, and in light of a less sexier incoming tour by Sri Lanka last summer, a loss had been anticipated in the cycle.
With big budget incoming series from India and Australia this summer, CSA expects to make a profit of over R500 million in the next financial year.