MUMBAI: Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive at Cricket South Africa (CSA), wrote a letter to Rahul Johri, the CEO at BCCI, “requesting” the latter to confirm India’s tour of South Africa starting with the Boxing Day Test later this year, following which he would agree to South African cricketers continuing to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Johri confirmed receiving the communication from Lorgat and added that he had chosen to “ignore” the request. “I didn’t even bother to communicate. We will communicate when the time is right,” Johri told TOI.
In what seems to be a clear case of CSA trying to arm-twist the BCCI by “dangling the carrot” of IPL participation, Lorgat took a defiant stand and decided not to extend the window for South African cricketers playing in the IPL. The deadline for South Africans in IPL came to an end on May 8, following which they have now left their respective franchises.
CSA, for the record, expects India to make the tour of South Africa in December this year, keeping the Boxing Day Test in mind whereas the BCCI has not confirmed anything yet. Sources in the know of things say “India could tour South Africa starting January”.
The South African cricket board, which voted against the BCCI at the recent Board meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in both finance and governance policy changes, expects India to also support their proposed Global Destination T20 League for which a window is yet to be created. South Africa expects the league to be played in the month of November while India is already in a fix trying to confirm its own home season going forward, especially in the wake of ICCdevelopments.
CSA ‘s stand on matters involving India, say industry sources, is clearly “an unfair one” and comes in the wake of a “weak” Indian board not being able to assert itself in the ICC.
“The South Africans were scheduled to leave on May 8. So what’s the whole chatter about? I saw no reason why I should have replied to Lorgat’s communication,” Johri said.
NZ to tour India in November
Meanwhile, TOI has learnt that BCCI has confirmed New Zealand as Pakistan’s replacement to tour India in November. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sought damages and compensation to the tune of Rs447 crore from the BCCI for not honouring the MOU to play six bilateral series between 2014 and 2023.
“India playing Pakistan is not just about the two cricket boards anymore. It involves the governments of both the countries and the ongoing geopolitical environment. Those are far more serious matters and it is not for BCCI to comment on it,” an official said.
India could head to SA after the completion of the series.
As far as India’s close ally at the ICC, Sri Lanka, is concerned, a “generous BCCI” has offered to tour the island nation once again for a series commemorating Sri Lanka’s 70 years of independence. The dates for the tour haven’t been decided yet but could tentatively begin in the month of July.
This comes in the backdrop of BCCI allowing Sri Lanka to host India in 2015 as a farewell series for their former skipper Kumar Sangakkara and it was Sri Lanka’s turn to tour India this time.