CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki says a lack of fan support is one of the reasons why the Proteas will play so little Test cricket in the current four-year cycle.
The Proteas have just 28 Tests in the Future Tours Programme schedule from 2023 to 2027, compared to England’s 43, Australia’s 40 and India’s 38.
South Africa will also not play a three-match Test series again until December 2026, against England.
The Proteas’ recent two-Test series against the West Indies had dismal crowds. However, the first Test in Centurion started on a Tuesday and finished on a Thursday, while the second Test at the Wanderers started on a Wednesday and ended on a Saturday.
“We just hosted the West Indies for Tests; you saw for yourself on TV, the grounds were totally empty, we were not even 10 or 20% full,” told Moseki IOL Sport. “If you go to England or Australia, Test cricket is still supported, the stadiums are still full.
“A lot of people say we don’t play enough Tests, but they don’t even show up for the few Test matches that we have.
“Why aren’t cricket lovers coming to watch Tests? They fill up the stadiums for ODIs and T20Is, and the marketing is more or less the same.
“The only time Test cricket gets a full stadium in South Africa is when we play England, and even there it’s only the Barmy Army and that is quite frustrating.”
Moseki said the cost of hosting Test matches also played a role in the current schedule.
“I love watching Test cricket, but unfortunately it’s not just about the emotions, there’s also finances that need to be covered. If it made financial sense to play three or more Tests against all opposition teams, then we’d be doing that.”
The Proteas will not play Test cricket again this year until December, when India tour South Africa.