New Delhi: The decks for India’s tour of South Africa may get cleared by the third week of this month as BCCI has invited Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Chris Nenzani for discussions on the bilateral series.
Interestingly, CSA’s chief executive Haroon Lorgat has not been invited for the discussions, which could help both the Boards chalk out a decisive roadmap regarding the fate of series.
“I have sent a formal invitation to the CSA president to come to India for a detailed discussion regarding the series. The dates of the proposed meeting is yet to be chalked out, but the venue will be either Mumbai or Chennai.
“Once CSA informs us on the schedule of their president, we will announce the date of the meeting,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said on Tuesday.
Asked whether Lorgat will also be present for the meeting, Patel gave a curt reply: “No. The invitation has only been extended to the president of Cricket South Africa.”
Relations between BCCI and CSA soured ever since Lorgat was appointed chief executive of the South African Board earlier in July. \Lorgat and Patel had met on the sidelines of the ICC chief executives’ committee meeting in Dubai last month, but there wasn’t any outcome as they failed to reach a consensus over the itinerary of the series.
For their part, the CSA maintained that the meeting was a positive one and the series would remain unhampered.
Patel, however, informed that he has been in talks with the South African Board for some time now. “I had earlier informed the CSA that any discussion regarding the tour will only happen after the BCCI annual general meeting (AGM).
“Once I took charge after the AGM, I started the dialogue with CSA. After having a round of discussions, I decided to extend an invitation to their president. He will meet the BCCI president as there are a host of issues to be discussed.”
Patel also informed that he has expressed BCCI’s dissatisfaction about CSA’s decision to unilaterally announce the schedule of India’s tour that contained three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20 Internationals, as per the original schedule.
“I had specifically asked the CSA officials as to who was the person in their board that decided on the schedule and itinerary of India’s tour.
“In a bilateral series, the consent of both the Boards is important while drawing up the schedule. Besides, our priority is the Board’s and our players’ interests. Players are not machines… They, too, need a break,” Patel added.
Irrespective of all the confusion, Patel seemed confident of the tour materialising. “We are very positive about the tour and don’t see any reason to take the extreme step,” he said.