BCCI set to clear Indian team's travel to South Africa

Despite Omicron scare, BCCI set to clear Indian team's travel to South Africa

There is every chance that Rahane might not get a start in South Africa even if he makes the cut

Ajinkya Rahane's poor run of form has put his vice-captaincy in doubt. Credit: AFP Photo

Indian cricketers will travel to South Africa later this month despite the threat of new Covid-19 mutant Omicron as the BCCI is convinced that the bio-bubble being created by the CSA will be safe and secure for the players.

The tour comprises three Tests, three ODIs and four T20 Internationals and is scheduled to start on Dec. 17 in Johannesburg.

The players will remain in a water-tight environment during the near seven-week tour.

"We are going to South Africa and that's confirmed," a senior BCCI official, privy to development, told PTI on condition of anonymity.

It is understood that the stamp of approval will be given by the general body during Saturday's BCCI AGM as India's FTP tour is one of the topics on the agenda.

The Indian team might leave a bit late rather than the scheduled departure immediately after the home series against New Zealand.

The matches are likely to be held behind closed doors but for Cricket South Africa, their financial health depends on the India team's visit as multimillion-dollar TV rights are at stake.

For the BCCI, one of the biggest positives has been the India A team's ongoing tour of South Africa, where they are engaged in three-match Test series.

"The information we received is that the bio-bubble created by CSA is safe and secure. There hasn't been a lot of data available as of now as to how severe and detrimental it could be. Also, we have not received any communication from the government on not going ahead with the tour.

"The team will enter the bubble shortly and travel by a charter flight. Even if there is a delay, it will be a bubble-to-bubble transfer and hence, no hard quarantine will be required," the source said.

However, the issue that the BCCI will have to deal with is what happens to the squad on their return from South Africa. The Indian government have specific rules for passengers returning from the Rainbow Nation.

Rahane's Test vice-captaincy may be in jeopardy

Ajinkya Rahane's continued poor run of form has now put his vice-captaincy in doubt.

With Virat Kohli back at the helm and Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal all among the runs, Rahane no longer remains an automatic choice once KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma return.

There is every chance that he might not get a start in South Africa even if he makes the cut. In this scenario, the vice-captaincy candidates are white ball skipper Rohit Sharma and his T20 deputy KL Rahul, who are now automatic choices.

CVC Capital set to get IPL nod

It is understood that the BCCI will give a letter of intent to CVC Capital, which made a successful bid for the Ahmedabad IPL franchise. The BCCI had earlier kept their letter of intent on hold after it was found that CVC Capital had invested in sports betting in certain countries.