More SA Tests to be axed?

2012-10-31 10:57
Jacques Faul (Gallo)
Cape Town – If the Sri Lankan authorities get their way, the Proteas will play no Test matches abroad during the South African winter of 2013.

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 Indies.

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 logistics manager.

“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 five.

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

Read more on:    csa  |  jacques faul  |  cricket

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