South Africa are planning to host rescheduled tours by Australia and England in 2023, confirmed Graeme Smith, CSA’s director of cricket, on January 14, 2022. Both the tours didn’t happen due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but for different reasons.
Australia’s tour of South Africa was called off in February last year due to the COVID-19 concerns. The three-Test series was postponed as South Africa was experiencing over 10,000 positive cases every day, with a peak of 21,980m with Delta variant running wild.
England had actually traveled to South Africa for a three-match ODI series in December 2020. But both the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa decided to call off the tours after the Covid outbreak happened in both camps. The tour was suspended considering the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams.
Australia To Tour South Africa In August 2023; England To Visit In Winter 2022-23
Both the teams are now scheduled to fulfill their commitments with the Australia Test series to be played in August 2023 and England visiting in winter of 2022-23.
“England, I think, is around Feb-March next year and then Australia is in August 2023 to replace the [Test series postponed in 2021]. That will be announced sometime soon.
With series lost in Covid and the challenge is you have eight white-ball events in eight years now, you have got IPL extending – trying to fit your calendar cycle in is a great challenge for everybody. So you need to review, you need to stay with the times. And you need to make sure we keep putting South African cricket on the map,” Smith was quoted by SuperSport.
The Australia cancellation resulted in losses to the tune of Rand 30 million (US$ 2 million) to Rand 40 million (US$ 2.6 million), while England’s withdrawal halfway through a limited-overs tour meant a US$ 1.5 million hit on TV rights.
Even the ongoing India tour of South Africa had to be rejigged after the discovery of the Omicron variant of the COVID virus in Gauteng province. The tour was postponed by a week after the Netherlands canceled their ODI series and flew back home.
The T20I series between India and South Africa has been postponed to a later date, while the series was curtailed to three Tests and three ODIs. The three ODIs will be played on January 19, 21, and 23.