BCCI keen to host South Africa in 2014

Pakistan was the first choice but LoC tension led to change of plan.

[FILE] Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Dale Steyn at a practice session at M Chinnaswamy Stadium on February 18, 2011.

New Delhi: While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to re-work the itinerary for India’s tour to South Africa in November, having raised doubts over the number of Tests and the interval between the matches, it is already toying with the idea of hosting them in 2014.

Even though the Indian team is set to travel to New Zealand, Bangladesh and England post the series in South Africa, there isn’t any international fixture at home till they play the West Indies in a full- fledged series in October. And the BCCI feels that the fans deserve some cricketing action at home before the West Indies series.

Speaking to MAIL TODAY, a senior BCCI official said while the discussions have just started, there is a good chance that South Africa could come visiting next year.

“Although the Indian team will be travelling abroad for a few series, there isn’t any major home series slotted apart from the series against West Indies late next year. So we are looking at inviting one of the top Test sides to come and play in India. As of now, we have zeroed in on South Africa,” he said.

But more importantly, the official said that Pakistan was the first-choice and had the situation not worsened across the Line of Control, Indian fans would have witnessed a full-fledged series — including Tests and ODIs — between the arch-rivals in almost six years. While India and Pakistan played a series consisting three ODIs and two T20Is recently, they last played a Test match in Bangalore in December 2007.

The official said that with Pakistani troops killing Indian soldiers on the LOC and the relations between the two countries deteriorating after recent turn of events, there is no chance of any cricketing action between the two nations in the near future.

“Pakistan was our first choice for a home series in India in 2014 as cricket fans across the world love watching India and Pakistan play, but considering the current situation we aren’t interested to host them,” he revealed.

Meanwhile, the official said that whatever decision is taken regarding reworking the itinerary of India’s tour to South Africa later in the year, BCCI would keep in mind the interest of the Indian cricketers, as they have a busy schedule.

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


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