India will play two Test matches at home, against the West Indies later this year, ahead of their tour to South Africa, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced after a lengthy meeting of the Working Committee concluded early on Sunday (September 1) evening. It was immediately unclear how this would affect India's tour of South Africa. The BCCI approved the itinerary for the tours of New Zealand (January/February 2014) and England (July-September 2014) but stayed silent on the South Africa tour. (India vs South Africa put on hold: report)
As the per the Future Tours and Programmes (FTP) of the International Cricket Council, which has been drawn up for the years from 2011 to 2020, India were scheduled to play 3 Tests, 7 ODIs and 2 T20Is in South Africa starting in mid-November. While Cricket South Africa announced this schedule last month, the BCCI said that the fixtures were not confirmed from their end. India's principal objection was the length of the tour, which included a sizeable gap between the second and third Tests, which would leave little time ahead of India's tour of New Zealand, which was set to take place straight after the South Africa tour.
West Indies were set to play Tests in Mumbai and Kolkata, with venues for the five ODIs to be announced in due course. This meant, of course, that Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test match was likely to be at home. Tendulkar, who has played 198 Test matches, has recovered from a hand surgery and was fit to play in the Champions League for the Mumbai Indians.
The Working Committee meeting was chaired by Jagmohan Dalmiya, who is handling day-to-day affairs of the Board after N Srinivasan, the president, stepped aside following a probe into several aspects of the Indian Premier League. However, the BCCI announced through a release that Srinivasan was invited to "to perform his constitutional and statutory functions [as president] and attend the meeting."
It was further announced that the 84th Annual General Meeting of the BCCI would be held in Chennai on September 29. At this meeting, Srinivasan would have the opportunity to contest elections to serve as president for one more year, as per the BCCI constitution, should he choose to do so.
On the key issue of tours, the BCCI was silent on what would happen to the South Africa tour. Much of November will be spent playing the West Indies at home, and the next approved tour is to New Zealand in January (2 Tests, 5 ODIs), leaving a gap in which India could tour South Africa in December, should the two boards be able to agree on fixtures. The BCCI also approved the 2014 summer tour of England which consists of 5 Tests, 5 ODIs and one T20I.
The Working Committee also approved several proposals with regard to the National Cricket Academy, based in Bangalore. It was decided, in principle, that the BCCI seek to enter into a long-term partnership with the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai so that quick bowlers could benefit from the specialist coaching that the foundation provides. Glenn McGrath currently heads the foundation's coaching structure. The BCCI also approved of using the Alur Ground, a property of the Karnataka State Cricket Association on the outskirts of Bangalore, for activities of the NCA. It was further announced that zonal academies would be set up in the South, North, West, Central and East Zones and an additional facility be put in place in Guwahati for the North-Eastern states.
The report on alleged spot and match-fixing in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League, which was prepared by Ravi Sawani, the head of the BCCI's anti-corruption task force, would be tabled before the disciplinary committee shortly.
It was further announced that stricter anti-corruption steps would be taken for the Champions League as follows:
- An Anti-Corruption official along with a dedicated security official would be appointed for each team.
- The movement around the dugout and match officials area would be restricted and a strict code of conduct would be enforced.
- The Players / Support Staff / Match officials shall not accept any gifts during the course of the tournament. They should disclose the value of the Gifts that they have received 15 days prior to the commencement of the tournament and also the person from whom they received the gift.
- The players and support-staff will have to declare and disclose the mobile nos being used by them and all calls coming through the hotel exchange will have to be cleared by the team manager.
- The Anti-Corruption Unit will seek the help of the local police authorities wherever required.