Ali Bacher has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) to resolve their differences at the earliest, saying "whatever is happening today between Haroon Lorgat and BCCI must end".
Writing in The Hindustan Times on Sunday Bacher, the former South Africa captain and former chief of the South African Board, said, "It pains me that relations between the cricketing boards of India and South Africa have hit such a low. We were really close when I was heading South African cricket in the early 1990s."
The Indian and South African cricket boards were perceived to be on good terms till, reportedly, Lorgat became chief executive of CSA in July this year. The Indian team is scheduled to tour South Africa later this year, but the BCCI has remained silent on the tour dates, even while finalising the schedules of India's tours to New Zealand and England in 2014. The BCCI also invited West Indies for a bilateral series, cutting down on the window for India's tour of South Africa.
Reminiscing about the happy relationship he shared with Jagmohan Dalmiya and the BCCI when South Africa returned to international cricket in 1991 after the apartheid era, Bacher, then chief of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (as CSA was known at the time), said BCCI and CSA must work together.
"When we came to India in November 1991, I told Dalmiya (then the BCCI secretary), 'there is such unbelievable interest in South Africa, we have to televise the game there too'. At that time, Doordarshan televised cricket in India and it was all done for free.
"We immediately offered BCCI a quarter million rand to get the feed for South Africa. That was when Dalmiya realised the potential of Indian cricket. In many ways, we were responsible for that.
"What we must realise is that when we made our comeback, there was still no democracy (in South Africa). And yet the BCCI and ANC (African National Congress) backed us. I hope history teaches administrators the lessons they need. Whatever is happening today between Haroon Lorgat and BCCI must end."
According to a CSA statement, made on Friday, Lorgat will meet Sanjay Patel, the secretary of the BCCI, on the sidelines of the two-day ICC Chief Executives' Committee meeting in Dubai starting September 16 to thrash out the issue of India's tour of South Africa.