Calcutta: Sachin Tendulkar is likely to play his landmark 200th Test at home. At the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s emergent working committee meeting in the city on Sunday, a home series against the West Indies in November was proposed, ahead of the scheduled South Africa tour.
Since the itinerary for the tour hasn’t been approved by the BCCI, it’s evident that the pressure is on Cricket South Africa to revise it.
Significantly, a list of upcoming series approved and announced by the BCCI made no mention of the tour of South Africa, scheduled to take place from the end of November. In other words, there is no clarity on the South Africa tour yet.
“Apart from the home series against Australia in October, the working committee approved a proposed home series against the West Indies in the month of November.
“The Indian team’s tour of New Zealand for 2 Tests and 5 ODIs in January/February 2014 was approved. The Indian team’s tour of England for 5 Tests/5 ODIs/one T20 International, from July to September 2014, was approved,” secretary Sanjay Patel said in a media release.
Sachin, who has so far featured in 198 Tests, was expected to play his 200th Test in South Africa. But with the BCCI squeezing in a series before that tour, the Master will get to play his landmark Test at home.
If the series does happen, there’s a good chance that he will play his 200th Test in his hometown Mumbai. With the series expected to be a two-Test affair, Eden Gardens may host the other match.
Secretary Sanjay Patel tried to put things in the right perspective. “The series against West Indies is not because we want Sachin to play his 200th Test at home. India play very few matches at home this season. So there was a need to add more home matches,” he said.
It was learnt that the BCCI had received an email from the WICB confirming its interest in the series, and accordingly placed the proposal before the working committee. The series is also likely to include five one-day Internationals.
While the BCCI’s silence on the South Africa tour was notable, president Narayanswamy Srinivasan was quick to put an end to the uncertainty surrounding the tour.
“I’ve not said that the South Africa series will be scrapped. It’s definitely on,” the BCCI president said.
South Africa, in July, had announced the dates for the series against India, comprising two T20s, seven ODIs and three Tests between November 21 and January 19. The BCCI objected to the itinerary, saying CSA had announced the schedule without obtaining the BCCI’s consent.
The BCCI had also raised concerns when it was known that Haroon Lorgat was in the running to take over as CSA chief executive officer.
Lorgat had said after taking charge that improving relations with the BCCI was a priority. “If I need to sit across a table, to go to India, whatever it takes to smooth things over... I have to put CSA first,” Lorgat had said. “When the issues come out, if it means I have offended someone and I need to apologise, I will.”