If India wanted a home series for commercial reasons, it shouldn't come at cost of another

Sep 06 2013, 16:01 IST
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Having Tendulkar play his 200th Test at home makes sense for Indian cricket’s  broadcast rights holders and sponsors. Having Tendulkar play his 200th Test at home makes sense for Indian cricket’s broadcast rights holders and sponsors.
SummaryA farewell before the fans is not wrong. It is, in fact quite a nice thing to do.

cost of another. Also Read: Now playing Lorgat vs Srini, India vs SA can wait

It seems fairly clear though that there is a third reason why South Africa will only face India for a very short tour. Two countries that were fairly close allies, South Africa helped India carry the IPL there within three weeks in 2009, have no drifted so far apart that I suspect no one is picking up the phone and speaking to each other.

Personal tit-for-tat

Clearly the BCCI is not in love with Haroon Lorgat who now heads Cricket South Africa, and whispers of unfair and unreasonable actions during the World Cup of 2011 (when he was head of the ICC) have been around for a while now. And so there is a suggestion that this is indeed a personal tit-for-tat. Also Read: Numbers man Haroon Lorgat needs to crack cricket world’s power equation

I don't know how true that is but the fact remains that it is coming in the way of a marquee series. Test cricket is in peril, there are more romantics than realists in its corner and more words than cheques come its way. For Test cricket to survive and, hopefully to flourish, it needs as many contests among the best teams as possible and India vs South Africa is World No 1 vs World No 3.

The last time these two teams played in South Africa they produced some brilliant cricket and Tendulkar vs Steyn at Capetown will always be among the game's more lasting memories. It isn't just contests like these but the build-up too that draws people in. A two Test series is like settling down after the starters and being presented the cheque!

It is imperative then that personal differences do not come in the way of cricket. If the BCCI has a valid reason, it is important that the fans know of it because if they don't, it isn't just the BCCI but everyone in Indian cricket that has to stand up to the outrage. There have been times in the past, like with the DRS, when the BCCI has taken an unpopular stand that has been proven to be largely right. But by not coming out with their argument in time they let the world assume that the objection came from the captain and Tendulkar alone.

Solutions can sometimes be found

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