Director of Cricket Graeme Smith has confirmed that South Africa are planning to host rescheduled tours by Australia and England in 2023.
The Australia Test series, which was called off in February last year over concerns around COVID-19, has been pencilled in to be played in August 2023. Now a rare winter tour awaits.
South Africa to host England and Australia in 2023
England are also scheduled to tour in the winter of 2022-23 to fulfil a three-match ODI series that was postponed in December 2020.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley indicated that a window for 2023 had been agreed on by the two boards. CSA have confirmed this.
“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 said.
“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 team – both men and women – needs to be performing well and be recognised and people want to play us. But we need to make sure when things are happening in world cricket South Africa is at the forefront.”
Cricket faces pandemic challenges
Smith admits that the pandemic has thrown cricket scheduling into disarray and greatly complicated the process of setting up bilateral series.
“Cricket is a challenging landscape at the moment,” Smith said. “If I just think about our national team now: 52 days in the bubble against India. Ten days coming up in New Zealand for quarantines. Then the Test match there, home for Bangladesh, two months in IPL, full England tour, India again, World Cup.
“So how you manage players, management in terms of the stresses that they are facing in these biosecure environments and the amount of cricket we got to play to catch up losses and various other things. So it’s a planning nightmare. And hopefully we will get that concoction right and we will see success.”