South Africa will still tour Sri Lanka for a limited overs series next year
Cricket South Africa (CSA) have agreed to postpone a Test series against Sri Lanka, which was scheduled to be played next year, until the middle of 2015 following a request from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
CSA’s acting chief executive Jacques Faul noted that the postponement of the series would allow the Proteas to unwind after playing in the Champions Trophy, which is to be hosted by England in June next year.
SLC stated that the reason they had wanted to move the three-Test home series against South Africa to a later date was due to a proposed ODI tri-series, which includes India and the West Indies.
The rescheduling of the series also ensures that South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka does not clash with the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL).
However, even though the Test matches have been postponed till June 2015, South Africa will still play five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals in Sri Lanka next year.
“We have acceded to the request for two reasons, in the first place we have a very good relationship with Sri Lanka Cricket and we have done our best to assist them. In the second place it actually works out quite well for the Proteas in handling their workload effectively. Had we proceeded with the Test series in Sri Lanka next year it would have meant that the Proteas would have played 11 Test matches between July 2013 and March 2014. In addition they would have had no break between the start of the ICC Champions Trophy [in June 2013] and the end of the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh in April, 2014. The rescheduling of the Test series means that the Proteas will now have a three-week break between the Champions Trophy and the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka,” Faul said.
Faul also noted that he was happy with the changes since it benefited both sides.
“The matter has been discussed with the Proteas team management as well and it has been agreed that this is the best way forward both for CSA and Sri Lanka Cricket. The Proteas will now undertake their Test tour of Sri Lanka in June 2015, before they move on to Bangladesh in July as part of the ICC Future Tours Programme. I would like to stress that there was never ever any question of the Test series against Sri Lanka not happening. The status of Test cricket is paramount as far as we are concerned. We retain the same number of Tests as far as the FTP is concerned until 2019-2020,” Faul added.
The postponement of the Test series against South Africa now means that Sri Lanka, after playing three Tests against Australia in December, will only be involved in four more Test matches, two against Bangladesh and two against Zimbabwe, from January to December next year.
Sri Lanka’s two-Test series against the West Indies was scrapped by both cricket boards since it would clash with next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).