Cape Town – If the Sri Lankan authorities get their way, the
Proteas will play no Test matches abroad during the South African winter of
They are due, in terms of the International Cricket
Council’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) to tackle the Lankans in their own
backyard in a three-Test series in July and August next year.
But Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has reportedly requested
“postponement” of the series to 2014 or later, as it seeks to instead squeeze
in a triangular one-day international series also featuring India and West
It is not the first time of late that SLC has sought to cull
Tests from their national team’s schedule, and only seems to point further to
the way the five-day game is being
elbowed to the margins of international schedules amidst the booming
volume of limited-overs – and especially Twenty20 – activity globally.
Cricket South Africa’s acting chief executive, Jacques Faul,
was quoted by the Cricinfo website as saying they were reviewing the request.
“We are not keen on cancelling Tests ... (such requests) go
through a process where we send it to the team management and then the
“We try to help other countries as much as we can but they
will have to give reasons for wanting no Tests.”
The Proteas’ own involvement in the Test arena is in danger
of shrinking even more, if the Sri Lankan request is agreed to, because already
purists are lamenting the compressed nature of certain Test series featuring
them – including supposed blue-chip ones.
The Proteas played only two home Tests against arch-rivals
Australia last season, and are about to play three Down Under, and their
successful tour of England earlier this year was also controversially
restricted to three matches after more traditionally featuring four or even
A glance at the FTP roster indicates that Test fans have to
wait until December 2015 for Graeme Smith’s side to next play a series
consisting of a minimum of four Tests – when England visit our shores.
When India tour South Africa next season, the sides will
seemingly lock horns 12 times across the three formats of the game, but again
only three Test matches.
*Follow our chief
writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing