Extra 2015 series for Proteas

2015-01-02 12:50

Cape Town – South Africa are expected to cram another limited-overs series, against the improving New Zealand, into their burgeoning home programme for the 2015/16 cricket season.

Sport24 understands that negotiations between Cricket South Africa and their counterparts from that country are at an advanced stage for an early spring visit here by the Black Caps, featuring matches in both the one-day international and Twenty20 formats.

An announcement from CSA is thought to be imminent, possibly even during the current third and final Test against West Indies at Newlands here.

The Black Caps are something of an awakening force in international cricket, having just completed a 2014 calendar year that included a record return for them of five wins from nine Test matches and series wins against India (home) and West Indies (away), plus a share of the spoils with Pakistan in the challenging United Arab Emirates.

Their five-day success could have a positive, spill-over effect on their one-day game and they are tipped to be tough nuts to crack as co-hosts with Australia of the looming World Cup.

New Zealand are understood to be touring South Africa in the slightly unorthodox slot of early September (possibly even arriving late August), which rules out such venues as Newlands, where winter rainfall patterns would still be prevalent – expect the itinerary to be heavily laden with games on the Highveld and in KwaZulu-Natal where conditions should be warmer and sunnier.

The Proteas are now set for a truly bumper 2015/16 domestic summer which will include first the Black Caps for one-dayers, then the headline, prime-time England safari here – four Tests and various limited-overs fare – and a late-season Australia visit (February/March) for further limited-overs combat.

It will be a great opportunity for CSA to recoup money on gate takings after the damaging effects of last season’s slashed India tour, and this season’s lone visit from the low-ranked West Indies.

After a lull of a few months following the 2015 World Cup in Australasia, the Proteas return to action in late June with a three-formats tour of Bangladesh, after which the New Zealanders will head for South Africa – just ahead of Hashim Amla leading an away Test tour of India in October, hopefully featuring four clashes if bilateral relations are suitably hunky-dory after recent difficulties.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    csa  |  cricket

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