• Proteas want three-month Test window

    The Proteas have had internal discussions about the necessity of a three-month Test window in the cricket calendar.

    This would allow the likes of Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar – regarded as a red-ball specialist – to play regularly during a defined period.

    Elgar is not always selected for the Titans’ white-ball teams. As a result, since the Test series in England in August and September, he’s only had a few 4-Day Series matches for his province to prepare for the Proteas’ three-Test tour of Australia in December and January.

    In a conversation with Gary Kirsten on Kirsten’s CoachEd webinar, Proteas batting coach Justin Sammons said sporadic Test series were very disruptive for South Africa’s Test players.

    “The decision-makers will definitely have to look at it. There were discussions under Bouch [former coach Mark Boucher] about the possibility of blocking off a three-month window for Test cricket and leaving the other nine months open for T20 [and one-day] cricket.

    “It is very difficult for our Test players. Keegan Petersen comes back from a Test series in England and his first competition is a local T20 one.”

    Petersen has since been ruled out of the Australia tour after sustaining a hamstring injury while playing for the Dolphins in the T20 Challenge final.

    “Dean Elgar has not played T20 cricket for the Titans,” Sammons continued. “He comes home and sits for months without red-ball cricket and then he goes on a tour to Australia.”

    However, a Test window will not be possible until at least 2028, with the ICC’s Future Tour Programme for 2023 to 2027 having been confirmed.

    As it stands, the Proteas will play just 28 Tests during this period – compared to England’s 43, Australia’s 40 and India’s 38 – and will not play a three-match Test series until December 2026, against England.

    “Unfortunately, for the next four years, we won’t be able to do anything about it,” CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki told Rapport newspaper when asked about the possibility of a Test window. “The schedule has been set and signed off by the ICC and members.

    “But we will look at squeezing more Test series into the current programme, where time permits. As members, we can negotiate among ourselves for additional Tests, and that’s something we will try to do.”

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    Simon Borchardt