India Wants 12-Day Preparation Window Between Arrival and Opening Test in South Africa
India is scheduled to tour South Africa later in the year but the fixtures for a visit hasn’t been announced yet, and it has a lot to do with the preparation of India for the Test series. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made it pretty clear that the Indian players are not willing to play the first Test in a rush and wants a 12-day window between their arrival and the opening Test. But Cricket South Africa pressed for time to squeeze the full tour in a 50-day window and is not willing to give India too much time for practice games.
South Arica will start their series against Australia in March, and they are reluctant to give the full January-February window to India as demanded by the BCCI.
“India finish their series with Sri Lanka on December 24 and can reach SA only by December 27. They are not ready to play the first Test before Jan 10,” a closed source of the BCCI was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Meanwhile, South Africa have already lost their star attraction of hosting the Boxing Day Test against India, but they aren’t ready to forego the New Year Test at Cape Town which is another star attraction in their cricketing calendar.
“But the Indian team has also made it clear that they are not going to start a Test match within five days of their arrival. They are going to SA to be competitive,” the source added.
The BCCI has already informed CSA about the decision and is waiting for the South African board to respond on this issue.
“It is up to them to come up with the probable permutations and combinations and let us know how they are going to deal with the situation,” the source said.
If in the heat of the moment, CSA decides to schedule the limited overs leg earlier than the Test series then it will provide enough time for India to get used to the conditions for the longest format of the game.
“We would be surprised if they do that, we are waiting to hear from them before the announcement of fixtures,” the source said.
Meanwhile, in the absence of India, CSA is looking to stage a one-off Test for the Boxing Day either against Pakistan or Afghanistan.
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