‘India tour to Zim off’

LONDON - India's proposed forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe next month has been called off yesterday according to reports from the Asian country.

According to the Times of India, the decision was taken citing the fatigue factors of the players along with the tussle in the broadcast rights.

India were scheduled to play three ODIs and two T20 Internationals in Zimbabwe from July 10.

There was always a cloud of uncertainty over the tour due to the broadcast issue, which prompted Zimbabwe Cricket to issue a press release on Saturday that it may be postponed for next year.

The release further add that it was hopeful of going ahead with India's tour and it was in constant contact with both the Board of Cricket Control for in India (BCCI) and Ten Sports to resolve the issues before the series.

"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 BCCI and Ten Sports, over issues which should be resolved before the tour," the ZC release said.

"If the matters take too long to resolve, ZC and the BCCI might mutually agree to push the tour to next year," ZC chairman Wilson Manase said in the release.

Earlier on, it was understood that the BCCI had not raised a formal objection to Ten Sports being the host broadcaster of ZC, and the series will be relayed on the Essel Group-owned channel.

In the wake of the Essel Group's possibility of floating a global rebel cricket league, doubts had been raised over the BCCI agreeing to tour a country that is associated with Ten Sports.

Meanwhile, India are still reeling from a ODI series defeat to Bangladesh and captain MS Dhoni threatened to step down.

Hours after India's series defeat, Dhoni had said at the post match press conference that he was willing to step down as captain and contribute as a player if it guaranteed success for Indian cricket.

“I am really enjoying my cricket... if it is justifiable if you remove me (as captain) and the Indian cricket will start doing well, and if I am the reason for all the bad that's happening to Indian cricket, definitely I would love to step away and play as a player,” Dhoni said at the press conference in Mirpur.

“I am always the one who is responsible for anything bad that happens in Indian cricket. Everything that happens is because of me. Even the Bangladesh media is smiling,” he said.  

But, several former Indian cricketers put their weight behind the beleaguered Dhoni and said that he should continue as captain of the ODI team.

Former Indian captains like Bishan Singh Bedi, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ajit Wadekar and players like Chetan Chauhan, Chandu Borde, Syed Kirmani and Kiran More strongly backed Dhoni, saying that there was no need to press the panic button and he is the best bet till the 2016 World T20.- Agencies

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