It has been rumbling under the surface for several months and now the fear of many a South African cricket administrator has come to fruition, the India tour has been cut in half.
An initial tour schedule had been announced by Cricket South Africa, who according to India’s governing body, the BCCI, had done so without any consent or agreement from their side.
The original schedule announced by CSA in July had three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20s pencilled in. The new schedule now contains a mere two tests and three ODI’s with South African cricket standing to lose nearly as much as R200 million ($20 mil) as a result.
India, not being happy with Haroon Lorgat as CSA CEO, has added fuel to the fire as
Lorgat is not the approved choice of the BCCI – proving the obvious, India run
The true reasons behind the reduced tour itinerary is India’s impromptly-organised home series with the West Indies. A series which wasn’t even listed on the ICC’s Future Tours Program!
A hastily-arranged series designed to ensure that Sachin Tendulkar can play his 200th test match on Indian soil, in front of his home crowd in Mumbai, before retiring. Whilst no one will ever dispute Tendulkar deserving the appropriate send-off, would the BCCI’s control and manipulation of a sport exist in football, rugby union or rugby league?
Could one country ever manipulate national boards in other countries, dictate the use of DRS, organise T20 competitions to personal convenience and now reduce tour ICC Future Tour Programs schedules to organise their own ones? Definitely not!
CSA have organised a return tour with Pakistan of three ODI’s and two T20’s in an attempt to compensate for some of the inevitable financial losses. They are yet to announce their plans moving forward for the vacant space in the calendar for January 2014.
The answers as to which events will fill the void of this shoddy treatment by the BCCI and the lack of intervention by the ICC do not look obvious. Things are looking bleak when one scrolls through the list of nations not occupied during the December & January period and one only finds Zimbabwe and Bangladesh - a far cry from India.
Something needs to be done as the treatment of the best test team in the world is a black mark on test cricket. Would the All Blacks get such poor treatment in rugby? Definitely not!
Time is running out, the stop-gaps are being looked at on a daily basis. One tasty thought could always be the idea of scratching a team together of Irish and Scottish players, adding a few English players who were overlooked for the Ashes, mixed with a couple of South African-born cricketers who have qualified to play for England. A British and Irish Lions cricket team? Why not?
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