India may tour South Africa in August 2020 for three T20Is

The deal was done between CSA director Graeme Smith and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly.

The deal of 3 T20Is was done between CSA's Smith and BCCI's GangulyCricket South Africa is hopeful of India touring the rainbow nation for a series of three T20I matches in August end, 2020. However, this provided government regulations on both sides allow the fixtures to go ahead and the matches are not part of the ICC future tours program.

This was negotiated by Cricket South Africa's director of cricket Graeme Smith and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly during a CSA executive trip to India in February, and finalized via teleconference yesterday as both boards consider ways to get their teams back in action.

"We have been talking to them and the commitment is there to get the three T20s done. There is an element of guesswork, no-one knows what things will be like at the end of August. But we believe we are a socially-distanced sport and that we can play behind closed doors,” CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith said.

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This tour is extremely crucial for Cricket South Africa's finances, given the revenue the Indian team generates. Ahead of the 2019-20 season, CSA was forecasting losses of R654 million (USD 36 million approx) over the next four-year cycle and the South African Cricketers Association put that figure at closer to R1 billion (USD 56 million approx).

Despite not much damage done to South African cricket from Coronavirus, the long-term projections are grim and an India series would go a long way to putting South African cricket in a more stable financial situation.

If the series does not happen at the end of August, CSA's acting CEO Jacques Faul said the BCCI expressed "willingness" to play the matches later in the South African summer.

The Proteas were due to tour the West Indies in late July for two test matches and five Twenty20 internationals, and Smith confirmed they are looking at all options for those matches, including playing at neutral venues or in South Africa.

"We are exploring all options. Sport has to think like a business now and not just an events company. We need to get together and work out how to get cricket up and running. We are trying to understand things like quarantine regulations. There are so many things up in the air, but the key is to be ready (for when play returns),” Smith said.

(Reuters and ESPNCricinfo inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 21 May, 2020

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