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Cricket | SA Team

India set to trim SA tour



India's reluctance to undertake a full tour of South Africa from November appears to have dashed the hosts' hopes of cashing in on the popularity of the reigning world champions.

South Africa released in July a proposed 12-match schedule for a tour by India, including three tests, seven one-day internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20 (T20) matches.

But India have belatedly invited the West Indies to tour in November and also brought forward the start of a January visit to New Zealand, greatly reducing the time available for matches in South Africa.

Although India were the first country to accept a visit by South Africa when apartheid crumbled two decades ago, current cricket links appear frosty.

Indian officials had run-ins with South African Haroon Lorgat when he was chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) over various issues.

And his recent appointment to a similar position with Cricket South Africa (CSA) did nothing to thaw relations.

"We have not had any communication from the BCCI about our tour or their West Indies series," Lorgat said on Monday.

"Until we speak to BCCI officials we will refrain from commenting on this."

Lorgat said after his CSA appointment that improving ties with India was a priority.

"If I need to sit across a table, to go to India, whatever it takes to smooth things over ... I have to put CSA first.

"When the issues come out, if it means that I have offended someone and I need to apologise, I will."

The South Africans planned an Indian tour that started with a T20 match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on November 19 and ended with a test from January 15 at the same venue.

Reports from India suggest the schedule could be almost halved to seven matches – two tests, three ODIs and two T20 games.

Indian officials were unhappy when South Africa released the 12-match itinerary, calling it a "unilateral" action lacking their consent.

"Our priority is to look after the interests of our players and the board," a BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) official said after a weekend meeting in Kolkata.

"Such a long tour was not viable from either perspective. We need to space out tours so that cricketers get much-needed breaks between them."

The addition of the West Indies means the 200th test appearance by Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar could be against them in either his native Mumbai or Kolkata, and not in Cape Town against the Proteas.

India are the 'cash cow' for South African cricket with several million people linked to the sub-continent living in the republic, and most follow the sport.

South Africa are the top-ranked test team in the world and India the top-ranked one-day international side.

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