The Indian team’s ascent to the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings is already having an effect on administrators. The team’s lean Test calendar for 2010 is set to receive a boost with the Board of Control for Cricket in India attempting to cut down on One-Day Internationals and shoe-horn extra Tests into the crowded calendar.
India were originally slated to play just five Tests in 2010, two against Bangladesh in January and three against South Africa at the end of the year, both away. The BCCI has now requested South Africa, who arrive in India in February to play seven ODIs, to change the schedule to two Tests and three ODIs.
“We have put in a request to Cricket South Africa, and it is being considered favourably,” a BCCI official told the Hindustan Times. “However, it’s not possible to take these decisions unilaterally. The matter will be put before the Working Committee on December 18.”
A confirmation that moves were afoot to change the schedule for South Africa’s visit came from Gerald Majola, chief executive of CSA. “We have received a request to play two Tests and three ODIs and we are considering it,” said Majola. “We have to consult the South African Cricketers' Association, the team management, and other bodies of our board. The changed itinerary will extend the tour by another week, but we would like to accommodate them and I don't foresee a problem with it.”
A minor hitch in the way of making the change is the timing of South Africa’s domestic Twenty20 tournament, scheduled to begin on February 24 and end on March 12. This will have to be postponed by a week, a move CSA is considering, in conjunction with Standard Bank, who sponsor the tournament.