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Volume 10 No. 25

Events and Attractions

The Int'l Cricket Council has launched its World Test Championship, "designed, the governing body says, to preserve the longest format of the game and give more context to two-team series," according to Osman Samiuddin of THE NATIONAL. The four top-ranked test sides according to the ICC rankings on Dec. 31, 2016, will play in a "yet-to-be-decided format in England in May 2017 to decide a world Test champion." Total prize money of $10M "will be at stake." The championship is an "idea the ICC has tried to bring to life for some time, and though it has broad acceptability among the full members, concerns remain over how feasible a prospect it is given the structure of international cricket." The cricket calendar is "essentially a series of bilateral agreements between Test sides." There is no "uniformity to it and lately it has become apparent that the world’s three leading sides" -- India, England and Australia -- are happy to "play each other more often than others, because these are the series that generate the most revenue" (THE NATIONAL, 10/13).

The "longstanding deadlock over India's tour of South Africa has come to an end after the two boards came to a 'mutual agreement' during the meeting" between Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan and Cricket South Africa CEO Chris Nenzani, according to Sanjeeb Mukherjea of CNN. After "hard bargaining," India has "agreed in principle to a tour comprising two Tests and three ODIs." CSA, however, has proposed a third Test, which "the BCCI is yet to decide upon." The official announcement giving the tour "a green signal will be made soon by the both sides." Sources said that "CSA is likely to exclude its CEO Haroon Lorgat from all matters involving BCCI." Lorgat's appointment was "reportedly the bone of contention behind BCCI's reservations on going ahead with the tour" (CNN, 10/13). In Mumbai, Vijay Tagore reported the meeting between BCCI and CSA execs took place Saturday. The two sides were "tight-lipped over the outcome and the nature of their negotiations but it can be confirmed that India will be touring South Africa in December." The BCCI is "comfortable with two Tests and three ODIs, something that can constitute as a bilateral series" in the ICC's parlance. The series will take place Dec. 1 (MUMBAI MIRROR, 10/13).

CSA BANKING ON FULL TOUR: The INDEPENDENT ONLINE reported CSA may "currently be in a relatively healthy financial state, but for that to continue they're heavily dependent on India undertaking a full tour here this summer." CSA announced a loss of R133M ($13M) for the financial year that ended April 30. New Zealand and Pakistan, which toured "here last summer," are not teams deemed "sexy" enough by int'l TV stations, "hence the loss." This summer, "though, sees India and Australia tour, and next year's financial statements will hopefully reflect a profit." CSA draws the "majority of its income from broadcast rights, especially with international broadcasters." This year's income was just more than R159M ($16M), down from '12, when it "raked in" more than R276M "on the back of a season" that included a shortened tour by Australia (INDEPENDENT ONLINE, 10/13).

Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan "is a man of few words," but he "dwelt in detail about the issues facing Indian cricket," according to Vijay Tagore of the MUMBAI MIRROR. Excerpts from the interview:

Q: Your powers have been restored, what are your immediate plans?
Srinivasan: We have a clear task -- to administer and develop the game of cricket, look after the interests of the BCCI, improve infrastructure, and implement policies to encourage strong bench strength.

There has been administrative vacuum for some time. Did the work get affected?
Srinivasan: That is not for me to answer.

Q: India's tour of South Africa surely got affected...
Srinivasan: The South Africa tour is an issue we're going to discuss. The president of the Cricket South Africa is coming to India. There are some challenges which we will discuss with the CSA officials.

Q: BCCI has not made comments on the SA tour but the general perception is that it got complicated because of Haroon Lorgat's appointment as CSA's CEO.
Srinivasan: I don't know what to say -- who is appointed the CEO of SA board is their business. How can we have a view? That is not the issue. There are some challenges which need discussion.

Q: There are reports that you were personally opposed to Lorgat's appointment.
Srinivasan: Do you really believe that I'll tell CSA who to appoint as its CEO?

Q: No. You are said to have told them who not to appoint.
Srinivasan: I've been quoted out of context.

Q: Given that the IPL scandal happened under presidentship, can you be absolved of the blame?
Srinivasan: Blame is a strong word. As I said earlier, I stand by what I do. Repeated attempts to get me to make a comment in an area that is sub judice are uncalled for.

Q: Are you comfortable with the panel formed by the SC?
Srinivasan: It is not a question of my comfort. I respect the SC order and I will follow whatever direction is given to me (MUMBAI MIRROR, 10/12).

An int'l yacht race will be held in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region starting on Thursday. A total of 26 domestic and foreign teams will "take part in the Liuzhou International Inland River Yacht Race, which will take place along the Liujianghe River, an inland river in Guangxi's Liuzhou city" (XINHUA, 10/11). ... A legal battle is looming between Athletics South Africa and the South African Broadcasting Corporation after "this year's Soweto Marathon was cancelled again." The two parties signed a "broadcast sponsorship deal" worth R10M ($1M) earlier this year, which included "live coverage of the event that was to be delivered by ASA." The Gauteng provincial government released a statement that "blamed ASA for a lack of cooperation and finally forcing them to cancel the race again" (SOWETAN LIVE, 10/11). ... The "long-term future of the Sime Darby LPGA Tournament will be decided early next year." This was divulged by Sime Darby Foundation Chair Tun Musa Hitam on the "sidelines of the tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club." Tun Musa "said that Sime Darby would make a decision to either cease its sponsorship of the tournament or continue after the end of its second three-year agreement" that ends in '15 (THE STAR, 10/13).