Calcutta: With clouds still hovering over the scheduling of India’s tour of South Africa later this year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s honorary secretary Sanjay Patel will meet Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of Cricket South Africa (CSA), during the upcoming ICC chief executives’ committee meeting, on September 16 and 17, in Dubai.
[That the two would have a meeting in Dubai to break the impasse was reported by The Telegraph on September 3.]
According to an ICC media release, the meeting has been agreed after several conversations between the two over the past few days towards resolving scheduling issues.
In response to the recent reports of the BCCI’s wish of a shortened tour, Lorgat sounded optimistic that a solution would come out of his meeting with Patel. “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 was quoted as saying by the media release.
Lorgat, whose relations with the BCCI during his years as the chief executive of the ICC were strained, stressed on the “wonderful relationship” that the two countries share. “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. 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 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,” Lorgat added.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, BCCI interim president Jagmohan Dalmiya said that dates of the South Africa tour and the West Indies fixture will be decided after BCCI annual general meeting slated for September 29. “Nothing has been finalised. Everything will be decided after that,” he said on Friday.
It has been reported that CSA is worried about incurring huge losses if the BCCI has its way of playing a curtailed series, likely to comprise of two Tests and three ODIs.
CSA, earlier this year, had announced that India would tour for three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20 Internationals between November 18 and January 25.
But the BCCI, after its emergent working committee meeting earlier this week, announced that the West Indies would tour India in early November and India would go to New Zealand for two Tests and three ODIs in January.
That would then effectively cut into the South African plan and shorten the visit.