Cricket South Africa has launched its new season of international and domestic competition on Tuesday.
The season will see both the Proteas men’s side and the Proteas women’s side challenging for major ICC world titles.
The Proteas men’s season – which includes ODIs against Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Sri Lanka at home and Australia away – will climax when the squad is named to bid for the World Cup title in England and Wales from May to July 2019.
The Proteas women’s season sees an earlier climax when the squad travels to the West Indies in November for the Women’s World Twenty20.
‘Our international season is very much geared to supporting our national teams in their endeavours to win these major ICC titles,’ commented CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe.
‘We could not have asked for a better series to prepare our Proteas for the World Cup than the home fixtures against Pakistan. They are the current ICC Champions Trophy winners and the series will also be played under similar conditions to the ones we will expect to encounter in England and Wales.
‘This will be preceded by the away tour to Australia which will, as always, be extremely competitive.
‘Similarly, our women are about to embark on their tour to the West Indies which will again provide perfect preparation for the ICC T20 there later in the year. They leave for the Caribbean on Sunday and I would like to take this opportunity to wish [Proteas Women captain] Dane [van Niekerk] and her team everything of the best.’
Moroe also stressed the importance of the various franchise and provincial competitions.
‘This is where our stars of the future are developed through our talent development pipeline and we have seen many of them come through to represent the Proteas over the past couple of years. Names such as Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen are among those that spring easily to mind.
‘Our season kicks off next weekend with the first pool matches in the Africa T20 Cup and I am excited by the development of this competition that will see a greater number of teams from the African continent taking part this year. As the powerhouse of the game on the African continent, we have an important development role to play in this regard.
‘In conclusion, may I wish all our players at whatever level they are playing an enjoyable and rewarding season.’