‘India tour could be moved to next year’

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Recently appointed Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman Wilson Manase attends a one-off Test cricket match between Zimbabwe and South Africa at the Harare Sports Club on August 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JEKESAI NJIKIZANA (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

ZIMBABWE Cricket board chairperson Wilson Manase says India’s forthcoming tour to Zimbabwe could be postponed to next year if the ongoing issues between the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) and the series’ broadcasting partner Ten Sports are not resolved this week.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

India had initially been scheduled to play three one-day internationals and two T20 Internationals in Harare from July 7, but there are fears the tour could be rescheduled due to BCCI’s reluctance to strike a deal with the Essel Group-owned Ten Sports.

Ten Sports have the broadcasting rights for cricket in Zimbabwe.

“If the matters take too long to resolve, ZC and the BCCI might mutually agree to push the tour to next year,” the ZC chairperson said. BCCI’s relationship with the Essel Group has been strained since Indian conglomerate company was behind the formation of a rebel Indian Cricket League in 2007.

Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman Wilson Manase
Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman Wilson Manase.

The issues have recently been compounded further after Essel Group’s alleged attempts to form a parallel world cricket governing body.

In a statement on Saturday, ZC said Manase and chief executive officer Wilfred Mukondiwa would look to resolve the issue during their scheduled discussions with BCCI officials on the sidelines of the ICC annual conference which starts today in Barbados.

“There have been reports that an issue over Zimbabwe Cricket’s broadcasting partner is threatening the forthcoming India tour to Zimbabwe. The position is that ZC is in constant contact with both the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Ten Sports, over issues which should be resolved before the tour,” ZC said.

“Both the ZC chairman Mr Wilson Manase and the chief executive officer Mr Wilfred Mukondiwa will be discussing these issues with their BCCI counterparts on the sidelines of the 2015 International Cricket Council annual conference, which is in Bridgetown, Barbados, from the 22nd to the 26th of this month.”

Meanwhile, ZC dismissed reports in the Indian media that the Indian board was finding it difficult to get visa on arrival for its players.

“Cricket is a national sport and ZC enjoys a cordial relationship with all relevant government offices so the acquisition of visas is not an issue,” said Manase, adding: “The substantive issues are what we will discuss in Barbados.”