Acting BCCI president CK Khanna has said that the board needs to seriously assess skipper Virat Kohli’s view on “cramped schedule” which has left India with precious little time to prepare for the away series against South Africa next month.
Khanna also wants the board members to take a call on having three back-to-back series in a short span of time.
“Virat is the Indian captain and his view point on cricketing matters should be taken with utmost seriousness. We are proud how the team is performing but if players are feeling fatigued, we need to have a broader view on the issue,” Khanna said.
It may be recalled that ahead of the second at Nagpur Test at press conference, Indian Skipper Virat Kohli has expressed his unhappiness over the cramped schedule of the India team which leaves them no time to acclimatise before the tough tour of South Africa. The BCCI, in a bid to accommodate the Sri Lanka series, has left little time for the Indian cricket team to prepare for the long South Africa series.
“Yes (we requested for the pace-friendly wickets), because unfortunately we get only two days before we fly to South Africa after this series gets over. So we have no choice but be in a game situation and think of what’s coming ahead of us.
While emphasising on the need to assess (the schedule) in future, Kohli admitted it is the reason the India team management specially requested for seamer-friendly wickets for the Sri Lanka series as it was the only option to prepare for South Africa.
The veteran administrator admitted that board needs to take a call during future home series.
“I think we should analyse if it is a good option to have three back-to-back series with hardly any break for the players. The matter should be taken up at an appropriate forum. It will be great if this can also be included in the agenda for the December 9, Special General Meeting,” Khanna said.
Indian cricketers have been playing non-stop cricket since start of the IPL, followed by ICC Champions Trophy, away tours of West Indies and Sri Lanka and three successive home series against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka comprising 23 matches (3 Tests, 11 ODIs and 9 T20 Internationals).
The BCCI normally organises home series from October to December a dedicated slot that they have demanded from the ICC going into the future.
Originally, the November-December slot was dedicated for home and away series against Pakistan every year till 2023 and accordingly, the broadcasters and sponsors were convinced. However in the present scenario, the BCCI cant play bilateral series with Pakistan leaving the two-month window wide open.
“The two series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka were replacement slots for the Pakistan series. Only the Australia series was in the Futures Tours and Programmes because as per our MoU with CA, the Test and limited overs series will be separate tours when the two countries tour each other,” a senior BCCI office bearer said on conditions of anonymity.
Sri Lanka has been with the BCCI on ICC policy issues. BCCI lost 2-8 during the ICC Board meeting while opposing the change in governance structure. The only other vote that they got was from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
SLC has been through turbulent times and BCCI has time and again played against them to boost the revenue of the cash- strapped board. Even in March next year, India will be playing a tri-nation T20 tournament in Sri Lanka right after the South Africa series. No wonder Kohli has raised the issue that authorities should “try and assess the issue”.