The Proteas will play two Tests, five ODIs and a solitary T20 on their tour of Sri Lanka, starting in July.
Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO, Thabang Moroe said the tour was of great importance to the development of the team as many of the players would be experiencing sub-continental conditions for the first time.
It will also be a high-pressure tour, with just four days between the two Tests, and a total of eight games being played between the first Test starting on 12 July and the final T20 on 14 August. The schedule has been slightly amended from the original proposal, with the ODIs replacing a third Test.
‘We have a lot of exciting young players coming into our side in all three formats and, with so much of our international cricket being played on the sub-continent these days, it is important they get used to those conditions as soon as possible,’ said Moroe.
‘Many of them have played very little cricket over there and indeed some none at all. For instance, we can look forward with tremendous anticipation to the performances of our leading Test match spinner, Keshav Maharaj, who has yet to play a Test on the sub-continent.’
Maharaj, though, will be getting some useful experience at the spin camp, being held in India from 28 April-6 May, alongside Tabraiz Shamsi and Dane Piedt.
There is also a strong contingent of young spinners such as Senuran Muthusamy (Dolphins) and Shaun von Berg (Titans), who were the leading bowlers in the recently concluded Sunfoil Series behind Simon Harmer of the Warriors and Essex. Bjorn Fortuin (Lions), Junaid Dawood and George Linde (both Cape Cobras) are other young players who will be hoping to impress at the camp.
The National Academy will also be touring Sri Lanka, while the South African A team will travel to India in the coming months.
While South Africa demolished Sri Lanka at home in 2016-17, winning the Test series 3-0 and the ODIs 5-0, the Proteas can expect stiffer opposition on this tour.
‘Sri Lanka have always provided very tough opposition under their home conditions and I am sure this tour will be no exception. We are all looking forward to some very competitive cricket,’ said Moroe.
‘The ODI series forms an important part of our team preparation for next year’s 2019 ICC World Cup in England.’
TOUR ITINERARY: July 4: SA arrive in Sri Lanka; 7-8: Two-day practice match, P Sara Stadium, Colombo. 12-16: 1st Test, Galle; 20-24: 2nd Test match, Colombo; 26: One-day warm-up, TBC; 29: 1st ODI, Dambulla (day); 1 August: 2nd ODI Dambulla (d/n); 5: 3rd ODI, Kandy (day); 8: 4th ODI, Kandy (d/n); 12: 5th ODI, Colombo (d/n); 14: T20 International, Colombo (d/n).