India\'s on-off tour of South Africa was finally confirmed but it failed to draw a line under a simmering row between the countries.
Cape Town: India's on-off tour of South Africa was finally confirmed on Tuesday but failed to draw a line under a simmering row between the countries, as a leading players' body called the shortened series meaningless and harmful to the game.
The South Asian giants - currently the world's leading one-day international side and whose wealthy board effectively holds the global game's purse strings - had been due to play the number one-ranked Test team from November 18 in three Test matches, seven ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals.
But doubts about that schedule emerged when the BCCI announced arrangements for an incoming tour by the West Indies and a tour of New Zealand which clashed with the beginning and the end of the fixtures published by CSA.
The arrival of the Windies in a two-Test series will see India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar - the highest run-scorer in Test history - play his 200th and final Test before retirement.
South Africa and India will now play just two Tests and three ODIs, both boards said.
Lingering anger in India at the way CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat treated the country during his time in charge of the International Cricket Council (ICC) governing body was blamed for the stand-off.
But although CSA said Lorgat had now been "withdrawn" from dealing with India, the chief executive of the South African Cricketers' Association, Tony Irish, added fuel to the fire by lamenting the curtailed series and blasted the off-field wranglings.
"This is a huge blow not only to the players but also to the cricket-loving public of South Africa," he said in a statement. "Everyone is now deprived of a meaningful series, especially in the Test format, between the world's top two cricket nations.
"I don't see how this can possibly be in the interests of either cricket in this country or of the global game. Cricket is the loser, plain and simple."
Irish added that CSA would suffer "massive" financial losses as a result of the row, which would impact on cricket at all levels in South Africa, from the grassroots upwards.
"It's a very sad day when international cricket becomes more about what happens off the field than what happens on it," he said, referring to the "compromise" deal over Lorgat thrashed out at a recent ICC meeting in London.
"The only positive to emerge today is the stated commitment of both CSA and the BCCI to continue with good faith discussions over the possibility of agreeing further scheduled fixtures between the two teams.
"At the very least the players and the fans of both countries deserve that and should be entitled to hold the two boards to this commitment."
A joint statement from both governing bodies said the ICC would investigate Lorgat's conduct, which was compounded by claims from former CSA legal adviser David Becker that India broke rules regarding the ICC's Future Tours Programme.
"The ICC and CSA have already refuted the comments made by Mr Becker, and the ICC is now considering its legal options in respect of the same," they said.
"In addition, the ICC will convene an investigation by an independent third party (to be appointed by the ICC) into the content and distribution of the media comments, subsequent attempts to have them withdrawn, and, in particular, the role of Mr Lorgat in relation to these matters.
"Pending the outcome of this investigation, CSA has ordered the withdrawal of Mr Lorgat from representing it at the ICC's Chief Executive's Committee (or from acting in any other ICC-related matters), and CSA has also withdrawn him from having involvement in any aspect of CSA's relationship with the BCCI, including but not limited to the upcoming tour."
Becker, in a statement published by South Africa's Business Day newspaper on October 10, slammed BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan's influence on world cricket.
"There is one man (Srinivasan) who makes decisions at (ICC) board level and they are certainly not in the interests of world cricket," Becker said.
"It's not only hugely concerning for the game, it's contrary to the regulatory framework within which ICC operates, and hence illegal."
Becker later insisted Lorgat and CSA had "nothing to do with my comments".
Earlier this month India's Supreme Court reinstated Srinivasan as the country's cricket chief, but ordered him to stay away from a fresh inquiry into alleged spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League.