Are the Indians coming?

It has been over six months since the logistics people at Cricket South Africa sent their counterparts at the Board of Control for Cricket in India a draft schedule for the end of year tour for their approval. Nothing has happened. At least – nothing good.

Meanwhile, the stadiums and Franchises around the country become more and more anxious. South Africa’s cricket administrators are accustomed to working at least a year ahead – the Australia itinerary for March was released 15 months ahead of time.

The Test leg of the India tour is supposed to start with a practise match before the Boxing Day Test in Durban or PE before moving Cape Town for the New Year Test and finishing on the Highveld at the Wanderers and Centurion. After that a bumper five (or possibly even seven) match ODI series will be followed by three T20s. Or might be.

It’s a vast logistical project organising a tour of such magnitude and there’s only so long that airlines and hotels will hold that many seats and rooms before requiring confirmation. Groundsmen need to plan their season, broadcasters need to sell their airtime, marketing teams need to prepare… the list goes on and on, and that’s before we even consider the fans and families who want to plan their festive season holidays.

The BCCI is currently being run by a CoA – Committee of Administrators – appointed by the Indian Supreme Court in the aftermath of its decision to remove the president and other senior officials. The Administrators are independent and reasonable men, but there are only three of them and they are surrounded by hundreds of BCCI staffers. They instructed the BCCI selectors to pick  a squad for the Champions Trophy when they missed the deadline and were posturing about not turning up.

Basically, BCCI full-timers are furious that they lost their grip on global power at the last ICC meeting when traditional allies like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe voted with the likes of CSA, Cricket Australia, England Cricket Board and WICB to implement a new financial model and also a new constitution which would include three additional, independent directors. India’s grip on power was broken.

The ICC agreed that India still generated the majority of the game’s worldwide revenue – and agreed that its share of global revenue should be far greater than any other nations – but the BCCI wanted more. And obviously they didn’t want a new constitution. Consequently, there is a sinister, brooding lack of response regarding the tour. Nobody at CSA dare breath a word. We all remember what happened with the last India tour to these shores.

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