BCCI has back-up plan for South Africa tour

Asian council meet could see India propose tri-series in December putting SA tour in further doubt.

India could now play only a Test or ODI series in South Africa.

New Delhi: The Asian Cricket Council officials are set to meet in Chennai on Saturday to discuss matters relating to the Asia Cup, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could propose a tri- series also involving Pakistan and Sri Lanka in December.

The ACC meeting will be headed by BCCI president N. Srinivasan and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Nishantha Ranatunga and CEO of ACC Syed Ashraful Haq will also be present.

The BCCI doesn’t hesitate to throw its weight around in the international cricket fraternity and this proposal could be another example of the BCCI making a mockery of the ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP), which had slated a tour to South Africa starting in November.

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The Board has already invited the West Indies for a short series in November and if the talks between BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel and Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief Haroon Lorgat on September 16 and 17 don’t go according to plan, the Board will go ahead and finalise the tri-series.

The prime motive behind the move is to encash on the relative financial superiority of the BCCI as compared to the PCB and SLC. The move is guaranteed to add to the already substantial coffers of the Board and neither the PCB nor SLC would mind such a series as it would generate huge revenues and would benefit them as well.

Speaking to MAIL TODAY, a senior BCCI official said that while discussions on the Asia Cup would be the prime focus, the idea of a tri-series in December could also be discussed.

“The prime motive of tomorrow’s (Saturday) ACC meeting is to discuss the Asia Cup that is to be played early next year. A proposal could be floated for a tri-series between the three countries, but the final decision will be taken only after the meeting between Patel and Lorgat in Dubai. If the BCCI is still miffed post the meeting, the tri-series will definitely be played, further putting the prospect of India’s tour to South Africa in December in doubt,” he said.

But Ranatunga said he wasn’t aware of any such development and that the scheduled series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was still on.

“I am not aware of any proposed tri-series as of now. As far as I know, the series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE is on and there have been no talks to curtail it,” he told MAIL TODAY.

Pakistan’s home series against Sri Lanka is set to be played in December-January. It includes two T20Is, five ODIs and three Tests between December 11 and January 20.

But the two Boards could happily forfeit the planned series to accommodate the tri-series in India and this very attitude among other Boards has led to this situation where the BCCI has no regard for the FTP. But in this case, it is also about massaging the egos of the top bosses in the BCCI as the souring of relations with CSA has been the talking point ever since they appointed Lorgat as chief operating officer.

BCCI, in retaliation, openly criticised CSA for releasing the itinerary of India’s tour to South Africa without due consultation.

With the series against the West Indies clearly set to go into the last week of November and the series against New Zealand starting on January 19, the chances of a full tour to South Africa has already been dashed and if the tri-series does get the go ahead, India could finally end up playing just a Test or ODI series in South Africa.

Till the time every Board bends backwards to accommodate India’s whims and fancies and ensures that their own revenues are also taken care of in the process, the FTP will find its place only in the trash can.

Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.


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