India tour of South Africa 2013-14: BCCI blame breach of protocol by CSA for series uncertainity

Haroon Lorgat’s (above) appointment as the CEO of Cricket South Africa had reportedly upset the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and led to uncertainty over the upcoming tour © Getty Images

Mumbai, Oct 3, 2013

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday, blamed breach of protocol by Cricket South Africa (CSA) for uncertainty over the Indian team’s scheduled tour to that country later this year.

“Things are going [on] since long. Certain things have to be put in right perspective. Let me inform you that BCCI in normal circumstances would have done anything (for the tour to happen). But the protocol of finalising any series is a joint declaration. But that declaration was originally done without the BCCI’s approval. So we are waiting,” said BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel on Thursday.

CSA announced a three-Test series against India as well as an ODI rubber from November-January without consulting the BCCI which turned down the CSA’s programme and slotted in an unscheduled tour by the West Indies next month.

BCCI is also reportedly upset with CSA for appointing former ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat, who had rubbed some top Board officials on the wrong side in the past, as its new CEO despite hints that such a move could hamper the good relations that existed between the two cricket boards.

The SA tour was not even discussed at the BCCI’s AGM held last Sunday in Chennai while the tours by Australia this month to play seven ODIs, and the West Indies (for playing a two-Test and best-of-three ODI series) were cleared.

Patel said the BCCI was not worried about the tour to South Africa, now a truncated tour, as of now.

“There are a number of people available. A number of countries are ready to play with India. There is no problem at all,” he said but ruled out any engagements with arch-rivals Pakistan or southern neighbours Sri Lanka to fill in this likely gap in the calendar.

“There is nothing like that at the moment,” he shot back.

Patel also said that the tours and programmes committee was never scheduled to meet today to decide on the venues for the series against the West Indies.

“I don’t know who has done it [finalised the date of the meeting]. I am the secretary. It [the date] is not decided. There are a lot of committees and there are [other] priorities,” said Patel after the meeting of the Board’s marketing committee.

“Priority for this particular marketing committee was there because it was a committed time. When the tender was floated, the dates were fixed,” he said.

Patel also clarified that one of its affiliate units, Cricket Club of India (CCI), would be allotted an additional international fixture by the Board and not as per the BCCI’s rotation policy.

“This will be an additional allotment, if at all, considering the historical background of CCI as well as all the help [they have provided] as and when required [to the BCCI] when the venue questions have arisen.

“CCI is always there to support and giving [to CCI] some match is not out of turn or something like that. We [general body] considered that some match will be allocated. Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) rotation and everything remains the same. It has got nothing to do with it,” said Patel.

MCA has lodged a protest with the BCCI that they were not against awarding an international game to CCI but it should be done only through them as it was a private club and functions under the MCA’s jurisdiction.