India 'A' tour to South Africa in doubt following Australia's uncertain participation

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The pay dispute between the Australian players and Cricket Australia has put India A's tour of South Africa in jeopardy as the BCCI is skeptical of sending them for just the four-day games. Australian cricketers have threatened to boycott the tour as a protest against the new MoU from the Board.

After months of negotiations, the players and Cricket Australia (CA) have failed to reach an agreement on a new pay deal, leaving 230 international and domestic players unemployed since June 30 when their previous contracts expired. As things stand, only 70 domestic male cricketers remain on contract while the Australian Women's team, who are currently participating in the Women’s World Cup in England, will be paid only for the tournament's duration.

Following the end of the deadline, the Australian Cricketers Association held an emergency meeting in Sydney on Sunday where they decided to boycott the One-day tri-series involving the hosts, Australia A, and India A, scheduled to start on July 12. However, the uncertain decision of the Aussie players has left the BCCI in a state of quandary. As a result of it, they are even contemplating a cancellation of the trip, as reported by the ToI.

"We're closely following the proceedings in Australia. If the One-day Tri-series is scrapped, there's no point in sending a team just for two four-day games all the way to South Africa," a Board official in the know of things said. 

Late last month, the BCCI had announced that Manish Pandey will lead the 16-member one-day squad while Karun Nair will captain the 15-member squad for the four-day games against South Africa.

If the tour doesn’t see the light of the day, then Rahul Dravid, who is scheduled to travel with the A team, may travel with the Under-19 team for the tour to England, which starts on July 15th. Otherwise, he will travel with the A team and former India opener WV Raman will take charge of the Colts. Meanwhile, it was learnt that Dravid has recommended former India seamer Paras Mhambrey's name for the India U-19 assistant coach job. However, the latter's conflict of interest issues if he were to take up the job are yet to be cleared.

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