India’s tour to South Africa plunged into fresh uncertainty as the meeting between the top brass of the two cricket boards failed to yield any result.
BCCI president N.Srinivasan met his Cricket South Africa (CSA) counterpart Chris Nenzani and its independent director Norman Arendsein in Mumbai over the weekend but there was no sign of a thaw in the frosty relationship of the two boards.
The appointment of Haroon Lorgat as chief executive of the CSA has been the prime reason in escalation of the relation between the two boards, and it continues to be a sticking point.
Lorgat, a former International Cricket Council CEO, did not share the best of equations with the BCCI during his tenure at the world body and often rubbed the game’s richest board the wrong way.
The latest salvo from the Lorgat camp was fired by David Becker, who is one of the legal advisors of the CSA. A former head of ICC’s legal department, Becker slammed the BCCI president for using “manipulative tactics” to dominate the ICC. As it is, his comments came just when BCCI was meeting CSA to sort out issues.
“(The ICC) has become powerless in the face of India’s dominance, and are forced to succumb to the manipulative tactics of the BCCI, Srinivasan in particular, just to keep their jobs,” said Becker, who worked in the ICC during Lorgat’s tenure.
To make matters worse, Becker also said the itinerary for India’s tour to South Africa was approved by the ICC board.
Both the ICC and the CSA were quick to dismiss his statement as unsubstantiated and personal views. BCCI, it seems, had set conditions for the CSA to go ahead with the tour. Keeping Lorgat away from its dealings with the CSA and an explanation regarding Becker’s statement are high on the list of BCCI’s demands from the CSA. The BCCI has maintained that the month-long itinerary released by the CSA was done without its consultation. The financially-crunched CSA had released a schedule of three Test, seven ODIs and two T20 Internationals.
In fact, following the announcement, Indian board shortened the trip and invited West Indies for a home series in November which ends on Nov 27 while India’s away series against New Zealand begins from January 19 to February 18. It has left hardly any space for a full tour to South Africa.