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Cricket-South Africa to play two Tests in India in November

06-11-2004 , 10:41© 2004 AFP

Anna Zieminski - (AFP/File)

- South Africa will play two Test matches in India in November, the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCB) has announced.

UCB chief Ray Mali met with his counterpart from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Jagmohan Dalmiya, in Dubai on Thursday to discuss the tour, the SAPA news agency reported.

"It took about five minutes for us to sort out the tour. We have agreed to go to India from November 4 to 30 and we will play at least one warm-up match and two Test matches," SAPA quoted Mali as saying on Friday.

The Indian cricket board will send a proposed itinerary with venues and dates for the UCB's consideration in the next few days, the news agency added.

India are due to host world champions Australia for four Test matches between October 1 and November 7, while South Africa host England from December 5.

That leaves less than a month to squeeze in South Africa's tour of India in November, not enough time to play the scheduled three Tests and seven one-dayers.

About the one-day matches, Mali said plans would be made to accommodate them next year.

"Our team is due to tour Australia next season and there is the possibility of playing the seven ODI's en route to Australia," he said.

The two countries have been unable to decide whether Tests or one-day internationals -- or both -- should be played during South Africa's tour of India in November.

India's cricket chief Jagmohan Dalmiya had earlier blamed the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an impasse over South Africa's tour, saying the 10-year Test calendar was a "blunder."

The UCB had expressed unhappiness over the itinerary submitted by India, saying the Indians were indifferent towards the tour.

But Dalmiya, a former ICC president, said the 10-year schedule drawn up for Test nations by the sport's world governing body was causing problems in drawing up the itinerary.

"The real problem is that we are having to squeeze in a two-month schedule into a one-month capsule," he said.

"If I have to blame someone, it would be the ICC for the blunder in drawing up the 10-year schedule."

South Africa have not played in India since 2000, a tour that ended in controversy when Delhi police charged the then South African captain Hansie Cronje of trying to fix matches.

The UCB are worried that Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje, two other players named by the Delhi police in the Cronje charge sheet, could be arrested or questioned during the November tour and wanted the Indian board to guarantee that no action would be taken against the players.

Dalmiya said he was unable to give a guarantee saying the Indian board had no jurisdiction in police matters.

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