South Africa tour tangle to be sorted at ICC meet

Johannesburg, Sep 6 (IANS) The uncertainty over the South Africa tour is likely to be sorted out in Dubai when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Patel meets Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executives' meeting slated for Sep 16-17.

The meeting has been agreed upon after several conversations between the two over the past few days as they work towards resolving scheduling issues around the end-of-year tour to South Africa by India.

The two boards have been in discussion following reports of a shortened tour by India to South Africa later this year.

In response to the recent reports, Lorgat said: "There has rightly been concern about reports of a shortened tour by India but I am looking forward to meeting Sanjay so that we can work out the best possible schedule under the present circumstances. As custodians, we have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the game and all our stakeholders."

Lorgat, with whom the Indian board had frosty relations during his tenure as the ICC chief executive, said that the CSA wants to have good relations with the BCCI as it had for the past 22 years.

"It is clear to me that both our boards are committed to working together to ensure the wonderful relationship we have had for the past 22 years is strengthened," Lorgat said.

"As South Africans, we will always be grateful to the Indian government for the leading role they played in first enforcing the sports boycott during the dark years of apartheid and later, together with the BCCI, facilitating our return to the world family of cricket nations."

"While we would not want to disappoint our fans and stakeholders and keep them abreast of developments, we have to follow official communication protocols in dealing with this matter, so we ask for patience and support as we engage our counterparts at the BCCI," added Lorgat.

"We are truly heartened by the messages of support from fans and commercial partners and wish to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for their understanding."

The scheduled tour to South Africa is now in doubt after the BCCI invited the West Indies for a brief series from Oct 31-Nov 27.


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