The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to shorten India's tour of South Africa to make way for a triangular series at home against New Zealand and Bangladesh. India is scheduled to visit the Proteas from the second week of December, for four Tests, seven ODIs, and three T20Is.
As per the Future Tours Programme (FTP), India is scheduled to tour South Africa starting from the second week of December.
However, the BCCI is considering rescheduling the tour in order to make way for a triangular series at home with New Zealand and Bangladesh which will likely result in the tour commencing with the Boxing Day Test, as reported by the Indian Express.
As things stand, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has scheduled the tour after the inaugural Global T20 league, to cash in on the league's popularity and generate higher revenues. Moreover, Australia is scheduled to tour the rainbow nation after India departs, and if the BCCI pushes the schedule back it could leave CSA in a fix.
A similar incident had occurred when India toured South Africa in 2013 when a conflict between the two boards had resulted in the series being cut down to two Tests from the originally decided four Tests. However, the Indian board is unlikely to compromise the Test series this time, owing to the iconic tag granted to the series by ICC- the Freedom Series for the Gandhi-Mandela Trophy, the first edition of which was hosted in India in 2015.
If the BCCI does shorten the series, the limited over formats will suffer cut downs with the ODI series being reduced from seven ODIs to five, while the three T20Is will be reduced to just one. The BCCI's nascent policy of hosting home series in parallel with the respective home seasons of Australia and South Africa is the reason that has prompted them to reschedule the touring dates with Cricket South Africa.
Since 2015, the board has made it a priority to host series until December in order to maximise revenues generated and the same policy saw India play various series in a long home season that commenced after their tour of West Indies ended in August last year.
Further, keeping this policy, the BCCI is planning to schedule a tri-series with New Zealand and Bangladesh once Australia departs, after facing India in a seven-match ODI series in October. In addition to that, the Indian board is also considering hosting a three-match Test series, the opposition for which hasn't been decided yet, as reported by a BCCI official.
“We want to have our own season before the team departs. The CSA, unlike the previous time, shouldn’t suffer because by then their T20 league will start, and we’ll arrive just at the business end of that tournament. There’s still five months left, and we can always make a change here and there, but this tour won’t be reduced. We’ve given the commitment, and that will not change. It’s just scheduling we want to work on,” an official told the Indian Express.
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