SA fixtures – Graeme Smith


August window confirmed for rescheduled Test collection towards Australia

Graeme Smith, CSA’s director of cricket, has confirmed that South Africa are planning to host rescheduled excursions by Australia and England in 2023.
Nick Hockley, the chief government of Cricket Australia, had beforehand indicated {that a} window for 2023 had been agreed on by the 2 boards. South Africa don’t typically host worldwide excursions in August, however did play Tests towards New Zealand in Centurion and Durban then in 2016.
“England, I think, is around Feb-March next year and then Australia is in August 2023 to replace the [Test series postponed in 2021]. That will be announced sometime soon,” Smith stated when interviewed by host broadcaster, SuperSport, through the Cape Town Test towards India.

“With series lost in Covid and the challenge is you have eight white-ball events in eight years now, you have got IPL extending – trying to fit your calendar cycle in is a great challenge for everybody. So you need to review, you need to stay with the times. And you need to make sure we keep putting South African cricket on the map.

“Our workforce – each women and men – must be performing properly and be recognised and folks need to play us. But we want to ensure when issues are occurring in world cricket South Africa is on the forefront.”

As well as causing a fixture pile-up, not playing during the pandemic has hit CSA’s bottom line – the Australia cancellation resulted in losses to the tune of Rand 30 million (US$ 2 million) to Rand 40 million (US$ 2.6 million), while England’s withdrawal halfway through a limited-overs tour meant a US$ 1.5 million hit on TV rights.

There were also concerns around India’s ongoing visit due to the rise of the Omicron variant – the T20I leg has been rescheduled for a later date – with Smith having previously suggested that his personal relationship with Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president, helped ensure the tour went ahead.

“Cricket is a difficult panorama for the time being,” Smith said. “If I simply take into consideration our nationwide workforce now: 52 days within the bubble towards India, 10 days arising in New Zealand for quarantines then the Test match there, dwelling for Bangladesh, two months in IPL, full England tour, India once more, [T20] World Cup.

“So how you manage players, management in terms of the stresses that they are facing in these biosecure environments, the amount of cricket we got to play to catch up [with] losses and various other things, so it’s a planning nightmare. And hopefully we will get that concoction right and we will see success.”

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