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    Default South Africa agrees to BCCI's compressed schedule

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    South Africa has finally cleared its stance and agreed to a compressed schedule proposed by the BCCI for the tour of India, including two Tests and three ODIs in February next year.

    However, Cricket South Africa (CSA) wants the BCCI to assure them that the travel and logistics between the venues is not too taxing, which signifies that the Indian cricket board might have to schedule the Tests taking into account the locational convenience rather than on its rotation policy.

    The CSA has already received tentative dates from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), with the first Test starting from February 4-8 and the second one from February 12-16. The three ODIs are expected to be played on February 19, 22 and 25.

    However, the BCCI is yet to send the final schedule along with the venues which would then be ratified by the CSA.

    The South African board have informed the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) of the schedule sent by the BCCI as well.

    ''We are actually compressing the tour a little bit more than we would normally do,'' said SACA's chief Tony Irish.

    ''There has been a process of consultation between SACA and CSA on the schedule and although it doesn't comply strictly with the guidelines, we are happy to compromise in order to ensure that Test matches and ODIs are played,'' he was quoted as saying by ''.

    However, Irish said the CSA was happy to go ahead with the BCCI's proposal.

    ''At the moment there is probably a day's less break between the ODIs and we would've liked to see two more days of break between the Test matches.'' However, he said the Board will go forward if the afore mentioned travel-time and logistics are satisfactory.

    ''We are prepared to go ahead if the logistics are okay,'' Irish said.

    ''The day of travel between the matches should not be too long as we have only two rest and practice days. But if we are travelling between one end to other then we will need an extra day of rest.'' It thus look likely that the tour will happen, since both BCCI and the CSA are keenly working to make it happen, although the modalities are yet to be worked out.

    With the top two Test teams- India and South Africa to clash, the series is going to be a high-profile one, and the BCCI - which had shortsightedly scheduled a year full of ODIs and T20s and hardly any Tests - will do everything it can to accommodate more Test matches.

    Meanwhile, South Africa will also be keenly looking for more Tests, having played just six of them in 2009 - four at the beginning against Australia and two lately against England.


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