Cape Town - While debate will rage for weeks about the merits of England’s maiden achievement in winning the World Cup, the outcome was almost certainly a positive one for cricket in South Africa.

What is indelible and matters the most, after unquestionably the tightest and most dramatic of showpieces in the 44-year history of the event, is that the name of that country is now etched on the trophy ... once the dust settles, that’s really all that counts, however luckless you may consider runners-up New Zealand to be.

While South Africa, by contrast, ended depressingly among the pronounced also-rans at CWC 2019, the Lord’s result on Sunday was a good one for severely cash-challenged Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Very conveniently, England will arrive as the headline summer guests of the Proteas in a few months’ time bolstered by their status as World Cup champions - something that spices up further the box-office appeal of the extended combat in all three formats.

South Africa v England at the peak of the southern hemisphere season every few years is seldom a hard-sell event anyway, a situation bolstered by the fact that the tourists will bring with them a vast support base - much of it their thirsty “Barmy Army”, if you like - out of the British mid-winter and revelling in the favourable pound/rand exchange rate for them on these shores.

It is a welcome infusion to CSA’s 2019/20 roster, given that an England tour will almost automatically be profitable for the local umbrella body, in contrast to a season like the last one when Pakistan and Sri Lanka (both not among the recognised frontline three or four nations) were the more modest-interest guests and, in several respects, traditionally only leave CSA in the red financially.

But the just-completed World Cup success of the Proteas’ premier adversaries on home soil in the looming season – there will also be some later white-ball internationals against Australia – gives marketers/promoters extra ammunition for the season ahead in the tough economic climate here.

England will play four Tests and three Twenty20 internationals as well, while the Proteas get three opportunities to tackle the planet’s 50-overs champions, and arguably the best side anyway in the last four-year cycle, at ODI level: Newlands (February 4), Kingsmead (February 7) and the Wanderers (February 9).

Ideally it would have been preferable, especially considering latest developments, to play the CWC-holders in a more customary five or more ODIs, but stronger provision has been made for both teams to sharpen their T20 games ahead of the next ICC World Twenty20 in Australia from October 2020, explaining why there is a generous trio of tussles in that format.

Nevertheless, England are going to be more significant general drawcards than usual in the SA season, quite possibly also arriving, for Test purposes, as holders of the illustrious, time-honoured Ashes too.

Although Australia have the urn, considering their 4-0 thumping of the old enemy in 2017/18 Down Under, England have won all of the last four Ashes series specifically on home surfaces and are likely to be branded favourites to seize them back over the course of five potentially compelling Tests between August 1 and September 16.

The Proteas, as things stand and bearing in mind that they have a formidable away series against India in the interim, lie one spot higher (in third) than England on the ICC Test rankings.

But the English boast bragging rights in each of the last two five-day series - home and away - between the countries.

They beat the Proteas 3-1 in England in 2017, and also triumphed in the last SA-staged series for the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy in 2015/16 (2-1).

Many of the major stars of their ODI squad are either cross-format figures anyway or soon will be: someone like tearaway quickie Jofra Archer springs rapidly to mind as an appealing, likely “transfer” now into the Test landscape for them.

He struck nasty blows to the helmets of at least three rival batsmen in the World Cup - our own veteran Hashim Amla, Australia’s Alex Carey and, on Sunday, the Black Caps’ Colin de Grandhomme - and thudded deliveries into numerous ribcages as well.

The Proteas will naturally wish to fight fire with fire on the pace front, through the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, perhaps still Dale Steyn, and also their own mystery factor of sorts in the form of rookie Anrich Nortje.

Remember that someone like Ben Stokes, the dynamic all-rounder who earned player-of-the-match in the World Cup final, is a bigger name now than he even was on the last full-scale England safari to our shores, when his still career-best innings of 258 (only 198 balls) was a stellar feature of the prestigious Newlands New Year Test.

The 2019/20 international summer in South Africa? It’s all good from an appeal point of view ...

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