The Boxing Day Test is a big hit with cricket fans in Australia
The Boxing Day Test has been a tradition in the cricketing world for the past number of decades and two of the world’s leading nations in Test cricket as of this moment, Australia and South Africa, are looking to square off against one another in more festive-season Test matches before 2021, which is when they are scheduled to play the next Boxing Day Test between each other.
Australia are set to host South Africa in November 2016 and Pakistan in December of the same year, but Cricket South Africa (CSA) noted that they are looking to switch the fixtures since they are keen on playing against the Australians during Christmas and New Years.
If the arrangements are agreed upon, then it would be a change from CSA’s announcement two years ago, when then chief executive Gerald Majola stated that both teams would have to wait at least until 2020 to play a Boxing Day and New Years Test.
However, since Majola was found guilty on nine separate charges, ranging from misconduct to accepting bonuses, acting CSA chief executive Jacques Faul is considering to revisit the issue.
“We can always discuss the option as long as it is mutually beneficial,” Faul said.
Since South Africa’s readmission, the national team have always had to tour Australia and this prompted Majola to convince the International Cricket Council (ICC) to put an end to the Proteas tour of Australia between 2012 and 2020 since the Australians have constantly been reluctant to send their team down to South Africa.
“When the FTP was being discussed we brought forward a proposal that we would play them once in Australia and once at home,” Majola said in November 2010. “They didn’t accept our proposal, we thought if they don’t want to tour here, we will also say we don’t want to tour there during that time so we can host our own Tests.”
South Africa have also been under fire as of late for ditching the traditional Boxing Day Test and replacing it with a Twenty20 International against New Zealand, which many cricket pundits see as a move by CSA to boost their revenue.
Since Boxing Day Tests are not as popular in South Africa as they are in Australia, Cricket Australia believe it makes more sense for the Proteas to tour the country since more people can enjoy the match.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “We have a long-held view that our preference is to play South Africa during that festive season, we understand the background and the reasons why that hasn’t happened this time, but it’s not as easy as that. There’s a future tours programme that is in place until 2020. While we might like to try and engineer something, if that was a possibility, the knock-on effects all around the calendar would be quite significant. But it would be a nice conversation to have. Both commercially and in terms of the promotion of the game here, it’s something that we have wanted to preserve.”