The end-of-year Tests against Sri Lanka have been adjusted to raise attendances and boost the Ram Slam T20 tournament.
CSA have acknowledged the pulling power of big-name players for the T20 and have reorganised the series against Sri Lanka so that all the Proteas players can play the Ram Slam series. Previously, franchises would be lucky to see their Proteas players at the final, if at all.
The tour, which will consist of three Test matches, five ODIs and three T20Is matches, is to be delayed by 10 days and the Test scheduled for the Wanderers in December will now be played mid-January, well after the annual migration to the coastal resorts.
The Test scheduled for St George’s Park, starting on Boxing Day, will now be the first of the series, followed by the now-normal rapid turnaround to Newlands on New Year’s Day.
Kingsmead, which has come in for some criticism for poor attendance, even at the prime period between Christmas and New Year, was not allocated a Test.
CSA’s chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the changes resulted from market research indicating that a Test match would work a lot better in Johannesburg during January.
‘Plus there was our desire to keep the first half of December free for the Ram Slam T20 Challenge so that all our Proteas can participate in the tournament.’
He added that future tours would follow a similar pattern: ‘In future years we will design our schedules accordingly,’ he said.
December 18-20: Invitation XI v Sri Lanka, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom.
26-30: 1st Test, St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth
January 2-6: 2nd Test match, Newlands, Cape Town
12-16: 3rd Test, Johannesburg
20: 1st T20 Int’nal, D/N, Centurion
22: 2nd T20 Int’nal, D/N, Johannesburg
25: 3rd T20 Int’nal, Cape Town
28: 1st ODI, Port Elizabeth
February 1: 2nd ODI, D/N, Durban
4: 3rd ODI, D/N, Johannesburg
7: 4th ODI, D/N Cape Town
10: 5th ODI, D/N Centurion