The BCCI has not made “any commitment” to tour Sri Lanka in July and South Africa in August and there have only been discussions about such a possibility, Board treasurer Arun Dhumal said on Friday, denying respective cricket board’s claims of a confirmation.
CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith and Chief Executive Jacques Faul on Thursday said that India has agreed to tour the rainbow nation for three T20 Internationals in August, signalling resumption of cricket in the post COVID-19 world. But Dhumal disagreed.
“When South Africa’s tour of India got cancelled due to coronavirus, we had discussions that if there is a possibility, we will make an effort to tour South Africa. But at no point have we made any commitment to Cricket South Africa about touring in August,” Dhumal said.
The senior BCCI office-bearer then said that unless the government clears international travel, BCCI won’t be in a position to make a commitment to any country.
“Right now, we can’t even commit that we can tour Sri Lanka in July followed by (short T20 series) in Zimbabwe. Both these tours are part of the FTP programme and we are still not sure what the situation will be in two months, so how can we commit on South Africa tour?” Dhumal asked.
Cricket Age had published on April 25 itself, quoting a top BCCI official, that the Board has indicated that India’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka will most likely be postponed.
“Firstly, we need to take one step at a time in the current scenario and you do realize that some of our players are stuck in Mumbai and Bengaluru — two zones which are highly affected by the pandemic,” the official had told Cricket Age.
“Without even going into the question on whether the Indian team would travel without the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma among others, I would say will international travel be permissible? So, we all need to wait and watch how things unfold,” he added.
Since none of the Indian players have played any competitive cricket since March, they will need to train for a few weeks before returning to international cricket. BCCI can only take a call once it hears something from the government of India.