It took four months of pleading and cajoling from Cricket South Africa (CSA) before the BCCI agreed to tour. Ultimately, India relented but only agreed to play a bare minimum two Tests and three ODIs.
But a development in which neither Board had any hand has triggered a fresh controversy. Award-winning South African cartoonist, Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro), has depicted Lord Ganesh as the BCCI, holding a cricket bat and money with CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat being given as a sacrificial offering by the South African Board. The cartoon appeared in the Sunday Times, South Africa, and on Shapiro’s website on Sunday.
The cartoon was referring to the BCCI’s staunch opposition to Lorgat. It only agreed to the tour after the CSA agreed Lorgat will be kept out of its affairs. The cartoon appears just when the issue has started to cool down.
“It is a completely insensitive cartoon. There was no need to involve religion and cricket,” president of the South Africa Hindu Maha Sabha, Ashwin Trikamjee, told HT over phone from South Africa.
“We have also lodged a complaint with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. Also, we’ve written to the editor of the newspaper to tender an apology.”
The BCCI has asked Trikamjee to e-mail a copy of the cartoon before it could consider any action. “I have just spoken to N Srinivasan (BCCI president) and Prof Ratnakar Shetty (general manager — game development). Mr Shetty has asked me to email him the cartoon,” he added.
The BCCI was incensed after CSA went ahead and announced the tour schedule on July 8.