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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Crisis-ridden CSA announces home season schedule, explores visiting Pakistan

The home season, which will have behind-closed-doors matches until April 2021, will start with South Africa playing England in three matches in each of the white-ball formats from November 27.

By: PTI |
Updated: October 27, 2020 10:10:34 pm
cricket south africaThe decision comes at a time when CSA is embattled both financially and from an administrative viewpoint. (File)

The crisis in its house notwithstanding, Cricket South Africa on Tuesday announced an impressive home summer schedule including visits by Australia, England and Sri Lanka, while mulling a tour of Pakistan for the first time in more than a decade.

This is in addition to the permission the crisis-ridden body secured for a tour by England next month.

The development comes a day after CSA’s 10-member Board of Directors resigned, clearing the decks for an interim administrative structure in the crisis-ridden body as sought by the country’s Olympic committee.

The upcoming home summer will run from November 2020 to April 2021 and all the matches will be held behind closed doors in bio-secure bubbles as per government guidelines.

The England series was confirmed last week.

“It comes as a result of many hours of dedication, negotiation and hard work by individuals behind the scenes to ensure that our fans have an exciting line-up of cricket to look forward to throughout the summer,” Kugandrie Govender, CSA’s acting CEO, said in a statement.

“… Although the matches will be played behind closed doors, we will have enough entertainment to make them feel as though they are a part of match-day activities.”

Points earned from these assignments will be added to the ICC World Test Championships and World Cup Super League.

On behalf of the embattled organisation, Govender expressed his gratitude to the cricket boards of England, Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who will also be touring South Africa.

The home season will start with South Africa playing England in three matches in each of the white-ball formats from November 27 to December 9.

Two Tests against Sri Lanka will follow from December 26 to January 7.

The engagements against the islanders will be followed by the tour by Australia around February and March for three Tests, and Pakistan for three ODIs and three T20s, with the season concluding in April.

It will be Australia’s first Test tour of South Africa since the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.

“The COVID-19 pandemic predictably forced many changes to the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP) and the traditional sequencing of scheduling matches in South Africa this season. This is why I am particularly proud of today’s announcement,” Govender said.

Earlier in the day, the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed in a statement the men’s national team will tour South Africa in April 2021 for three One-Day Internationals and as many T20 Internationals.

“Pakistan has now agreed to fulfil its Future Tours Programme (FTP) commitment prior to visiting Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20Is. The schedule of both the series will be announced in due course.”

South Africa is also exploring the possibility to squeeze in a tour of Pakistan around January. The Proteas have not visited the country in more than a decade.

The release said a CSA delegation would soon leave for Pakistan to “perform a security assessment on the feasibility of the Proteas embarking on their first tour to Pakistan since 2007”.

In recent times, CSA has been plagued by allegations of racism, payment issues and malpractices in administration which has attracted the central government’s attention.

The en masse resignation came after several calls in the past months from a range of stakeholders, including the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), for the Board of Directors to go.

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