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The first hint of trouble came when it emerged that the Indians were not happy about the prospect of Lorgat being appointed chief executive of CSA. He had seemingly upset them while filling the same post at the ICC. -Photo by AFP
The first hint of trouble came when it emerged that the Indians were not happy about the prospect of Lorgat being appointed chief executive of CSA. He had seemingly upset them while filling the same post at the ICC. -Photo by AFP

CAPE TOWN: At the dawn of what became popularly known as the new South Africa, there was a special relationship between the country's cricket officials and their counterparts from India.

It is a relationship that Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat and Sanjay Patel, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), will try to repair this week.

The two men are attending the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executives meeting in Dubai, where they will discuss “scheduling issues” that threaten India's tour of South Africa at the end of the year.

India were the first country to host South Africa after the formation of a racially unified board in 1991, ending 21 years of isolation caused by the South African government's apartheid policy.

India were also the first country to make a Test tour of South Africa in the post-unity era. Both events were heavy with symbolism and bonhomie.

India had been in the forefront of nations that imposed sanctions on the apartheid government, and the two countries had never played cricket against each other.

But when South Africa's new United Cricket Board (UCB) put its case for membership of the ICC in July 1991 -- more than two years before the country's first fully democratic elections -- it was India that proposed a motion in favour of admission, opening the way for the longtime pariahs to return to the international game.

Four months later, a UCB delegation, which included former Test captain Ali Bacher, arrived in India as part of a “get to know you” tour of cricketing nations which had not previously had ties with South Africa.

A planned tour by Pakistan had fallen through and the Indians invited South Africa to fill the gap by playing three one-day internationals.

The first match was played at the cavernous Eden Gardens stadium in Calcutta, stronghold of Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Bengal cricket association, who went on to become president of the BCCI and later the ICC.

Dalmiya and Bacher had struck up a friendship on the fringes of the ICC meeting in London, and the Indians went all out to make the South African players, officials and supporters welcome.

The hospitality was reciprocated in 1992-93 when India visited South Africa in what was officially labelled the “Friendship Tour”.

In subsequent years the friendship was cemented when South Africa hosted the Indian Premier League at short notice in 2009 when it had to be moved from India.

South Africa and Australia became partners of the BCCI in the lucrative Champions League Twenty20.

The first hint of trouble came when it emerged that the Indians were not happy about the prospect of Lorgat being appointed chief executive of CSA. He had seemingly upset them while filling the same post at the ICC.

CSA announced in July an itinerary that included three Tests, seven one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals. The number of matches was in accordance with the Future Tours Programme (FTP) agreed by ICC member countries more than three years ago.

The Indians complained that they had not agreed to the itinerary -- although South African officials claim they have correspondence proving that there were detailed negotiations about the fixtures.

It came as a shock to CSA when India unilaterally announced a tour by the West Indies -- which was not part of the FTP -- which will end on November 27, nine days after the tour of South Africa is due to start.

A further shock came when it was announced that India's scheduled tour of New Zealand would start with a one-day international on January 19 -- the day when the third and final Test in South Africa is due to finish.

An Indian tour is a massive money-spinner, and South African officials are wary about making any public comment that could jeopardise it. But there is a belief that it would be possible to condense the tour and play most if not all of the international matches by cutting down on warm-up games and rest days.

It was reported that the BCCI was working on back-up plans for a triangular one-day series in case the South African tour was cancelled -- although this would place the Indians in breach of their obligations under the FTP.

Comments (16) Closed

Devil Sep 17, 2013 03:42pm

CSA can't afford to upset BCCI !!

kanwaljeet Sep 17, 2013 04:32pm

but why BCCI have problems with lorghat?? and CSA knows the inportance of BCCI, why they are not getting rid of lorghat?? is he so influential in CSA?

A Shah Sep 17, 2013 05:58pm

India is much too strong for SA.

Ahsan Sep 17, 2013 06:46pm

@kanwaljeet: It is CSA internal matter why BCCI want to interfere in another countries matter.....

a Sep 17, 2013 07:26pm

BCCI has a record of poking its nose in other people's business. They should mind their own business.

Abhishek Sep 17, 2013 07:35pm

Why should they get rid of Lorgat? This is a professional organization, not a personality-clash based family business. The BCCI officials are acting like idiots and coming across as overbearing, bullyish and condescending.

It's the main reason I don't support cricket. Too much attitude.

a.rehman Sep 17, 2013 08:46pm

India is creating always problem because of having large market access.

Saad(DXB) Sep 17, 2013 09:53pm

Being jealous of anyone and everyone commanding any respect, lest an Indian, is a part of India's national character

amit Sep 17, 2013 11:33pm

before criticising BCCI, people should realised that BCCI is the only cricket board who opened the door for south africa after 21 years boycot. in 2011 BCCI send their team india to south africa just to play one t20 matche from their busy schedule. .......u know 9 hours flight for 3 hour game...and another 9 hours to come back.........south africa dont forget your players called ''CHOKER'' in world cricket but when they play in IPL..they called ''STAR PLAYERS''

farrukh Sep 18, 2013 01:35am

BCCI is putting on too much burden on the game once called "game of the gentlemen". They cannot put hold or leash onto their players for their part in the gambling, seriously threatening the game's future in India where it will only remain a game of bookies and people with money. I am sorry to say that India, with too much commercial interest involved, should understand that it is at times good to let go, instead of become too possessive about the money. Otherwise after 5 years, people will only remember legendary games that cricketers used to play. Fairness, transparency, and equality of chances is not only good for the game of cricket for them but for BCCI and Indian cricket. But having said, they are not willing to learn as all they see is money. Lets see when the tides turn around and change everything (the last few good things left about cricket).

Lord Indra Sep 18, 2013 03:14am

Whatever India says is true ; shove your behind out or listen

kumar Sep 18, 2013 03:40am

BCCI seems to be taking things "too personal". What is BCCI has to do with CSA CEO?

Anees Sep 18, 2013 08:06am

Inwhat capacity can BCCI ask CSA to not appoint Lorgat - or, for that matter, anyone?

Anees Sep 18, 2013 08:12am

They want to avoid the humiliation that Sachin may face in his ( possible ) last away series. That's all.

James Sep 18, 2013 02:32pm

@kanwaljeet: CSA can appoint whom they wish as President.BCCI has no business to interfere in the working of CSA.Will India accept the decision of other cricket boards if they object to Srinivasan/Dalmiya becoming president of the BCCI.BCCI may have issues with Lorgat,but if he is elected by CSA ,their decision should be accepted as its their internal matter.

BCCI_is_BOSS Sep 18, 2013 10:57pm

@ All You don't bite the hand that feeds you. Over the years, BCCI has helped CSA generate tons of revenue, especially before Lorgat. One series with India generates more revenue for them than a whole year of playing other teams (e.g., pak). Now, please remember, there is no such thing as 'free lunch'. Whether you like it or not, BCCI is ICC. End of argument. Take it or leave it.