South Africa news June 5, 2012

South Africa replace Boxing Day Test with T20

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South Africa have replaced their traditional Boxing Day Test with a Twenty20 international for the 2012-13 home season, during which they will host New Zealand and Pakistan. The home summer will begin the week before Christmas, after South Africa's return from a Test series in Australia. New Zealand will play three Twenty20s, two Tests and three ODIs through January, after which Pakistan will tour for a full series in February and March.

Instead of a Test match starting on December 26, South Africa will play a Twenty20 against New Zealand in Port Elizabeth before reverting to tradition for the New Year's Test in Cape Town on January 2. "We considered three important factors when we made the decision and in the end we decided it would make more sense to do it this way in terms of this tour," Jacques Faul, CSA acting chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo. "We looked at the best interests of the national team, the fairness to the incoming team and the commercial aspect. I wouldn't say the decision was only a financial one. We still feel strongly about Test cricket but we decided that to do it this way would be best."

South Africa have hosted a Boxing Day Test every year since readmission in 1992, except on the five occasions they have been on tour in Australia. An agreement was subsequently reached with Australia to ensure South Africa does not play there over the Christmas period to ensure the national side is at home in peak season. Three times, the Boxing Day Test has been played in Port Elizabeth, when it was first held in 1992 and again in 1995 and 2007, and every other time Durban's Kingsmead Stadium has played host to the fixture.

Despite it being a match that is considered integral to the cricket season, South Africa's Boxing Day Test has had its problems. Crowds have declined steadily over the years, resulting in less advertising and an overall financial burden rather than gain. Durban, which is a popular holiday destination in South Africa, sees people choose to spend the day at the beach rather than the cricket and the fixture was moved to Port Elizabeth in 2007 in the hope of an improved attendance. St George's Park did not produce the desired crowds and resulted in a South African defeat to West Indies and the match was moved back to Durban in 2009. South Africa have also not won a Boxing Day Test at home since then.

At the end of last season, sources close to CSA mentioned that it would make better economic sense to host T20s over the holiday period. The theory has some substance as people had packed venues around the country for the domestic 20-over competition when it was it was held in January (still part of school holidays) when the national team were in Australia in early 2006 and 2009. However, the current fixtures, which see T20s played against New Zealand on December 21, 23 and 26 leaves out prime dates from the 27th to the 31st of December, during which New Zealand will play a tour match in Paarl.

ESPNcricinfo understands that South Africa's poor record in the Boxing Day match, when the team usually has their families accompanying them, also influenced the decision to do away with the match. Although the scrapping of the Boxing Day Test marks a massive break with convention, Faul stressed that this was not the end of the road for the traditional match. "We could definitely see a Boxing Day Test next season or in the future," he said.

As a result of the revised schedule, Durban has been left without a Test match for the entire season and will have to make do with two T20s - against New Zealand and Pakistan - and an ODI. Cape Town, which usually gets large crowds, will again host two Test matches, while Port Elizabeth gets its first Test since 2007. Johannesburg and Centurion have been given the remaining two Tests.

New Zealand's three T20s will be held in Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth and the three ODIs in Paarl, Kimberley and Potchefstroom. Pakistan's tour consists of three Tests and five ODIs at venues including Bloemfontein and Benoni. The addition of smaller venues to international schedule is in keeping with CSA's rotation policy and as a result of the attendance last season, when Sri Lanka's ODI series was played mainly at the lesser known grounds.

"East London and Paarl, who had been off the international roster for some time, attracted more than 25,000 spectators for the two ODIs that they hosted," Faul said. "These two provinces are very strong growth areas for the game, [and help] fulfil our mandate of making cricket a truly national sport."

South Africa toured New Zealand in February and March 2012, winning the three-Test series 1-0 and sweeping the ODIs 3-0. New Zealand registered their only win of the tour in the Twenty20s, but South Africa claimed that series as well, 2-1.

The previous bilateral series between Pakistan and South Africa was in 2010-11, in the UAE; the Tests were drawn 0-0, and South Africa won in both limited-overs formats.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SuperSharky on June 7, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 05 2012, 18:22 PM GMT). I bet you don't understand chess either and doesn't care who does. Luckily their are varieties of sport to watch, so please don't wish for Test cricket to die. Meanster, please, if you can't understand the ultimate Test in Test cricket, then go and watch Baseball or an action movie. What about some fast and furious shiny car race. Or you can record The IPL and watch it everyday of the year when you feel like watching cricket.

  • on June 7, 2012, 0:18 GMT

    Disgraceful decision. And you want Cricket Australia to give up its Boxing Test at the MCG so you can play us over there, really!! You could play at T20 game any day of the week and fill the ground. Test Cricket deserves better - South Africa Cricket Administrations you be ashamed of yourselves.

  • pkcricfan101 on June 6, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    And thus begins the fall of test cricket... dun-dun-dun...

  • Smithie on June 6, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    There is only ONE Boxing Day Test - the real one at the MCG each and every year!

  • stickywicketnick on June 6, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Why do NZ always have to play so many T20 matches? Three 2020's, sounds banal! At least give us three tests, it's not coincidence that New Zealand is getting worse at Test Cricket when our players seem to be living on a diet of 2020's. What other sport trys so hard to get people who don't even like it to watch?

  • on June 6, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    Come now People. Durban has always been a hoodoo crowd for SA in boxing day test matches. I think that's one of the main reasons to scrap the boxing day test

  • youfoundme on June 6, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    Yet another 2 Test series for New Zealand. This is utterly ridiculous... with the Test Championship on the horizon, every team needs to play a FAIR amount of the same quality cricket. Usually I would rant on a bit more, but I have a sick feeling because of such a bull decision. This is very, very infuriating.

  • on June 6, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    A step towards death of test cricket.

  • on June 6, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Lol the Pak series is still about an year off no good talking about it now, but I don't think they have much of a chance unless they find 2 good seamers before then, Umar Gul is a reverse swing reliant bowler who gets it in 2 out of 10 matches rest of them he generallly flops or is ineffective at best.

    Right now we're not going that way just trying old horses - Mohammad Sami has almost no chance of being an effective Test match bowler, he gets no swing and balls darts which dislodge a batsman not used to pace but once they get used to it he becomes useless, and Sohail Tanvir swings the ball a lot for 3-4 overs then goes straight and slow.

    Saeed Ajmal is good but in ODI/ T20 he's too conservative as is Afridi as a result both tend to get milked, an aggressive fast bowler is what we need and since Amir I haven't seen one who can do the job

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 6, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    @Sirviv73,i gues there r gd 7 to 8 mnths befor ths tour starts,by that time pak would b havng sme youngrs seamers on display(talha,sadaf,anwar ali,rahat ali),sadaf z a purely seam bowlr whil othr r vry pacy(bowl at 140 to 150 km/hconsistntly),u must nt writ off sami,he has gd cmback, ajmal z d bst spiner (especialy aftr hussey's nightmare),how can u forget azhar ali(future inzi),i hav gret respct 4 safas bt they r betr odi,t20 side than test ,so it would be 45.55 in safas favor in al three formats of ths tour

  • SuperSharky on June 7, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 05 2012, 18:22 PM GMT). I bet you don't understand chess either and doesn't care who does. Luckily their are varieties of sport to watch, so please don't wish for Test cricket to die. Meanster, please, if you can't understand the ultimate Test in Test cricket, then go and watch Baseball or an action movie. What about some fast and furious shiny car race. Or you can record The IPL and watch it everyday of the year when you feel like watching cricket.

  • on June 7, 2012, 0:18 GMT

    Disgraceful decision. And you want Cricket Australia to give up its Boxing Test at the MCG so you can play us over there, really!! You could play at T20 game any day of the week and fill the ground. Test Cricket deserves better - South Africa Cricket Administrations you be ashamed of yourselves.

  • pkcricfan101 on June 6, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    And thus begins the fall of test cricket... dun-dun-dun...

  • Smithie on June 6, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    There is only ONE Boxing Day Test - the real one at the MCG each and every year!

  • stickywicketnick on June 6, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Why do NZ always have to play so many T20 matches? Three 2020's, sounds banal! At least give us three tests, it's not coincidence that New Zealand is getting worse at Test Cricket when our players seem to be living on a diet of 2020's. What other sport trys so hard to get people who don't even like it to watch?

  • on June 6, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    Come now People. Durban has always been a hoodoo crowd for SA in boxing day test matches. I think that's one of the main reasons to scrap the boxing day test

  • youfoundme on June 6, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    Yet another 2 Test series for New Zealand. This is utterly ridiculous... with the Test Championship on the horizon, every team needs to play a FAIR amount of the same quality cricket. Usually I would rant on a bit more, but I have a sick feeling because of such a bull decision. This is very, very infuriating.

  • on June 6, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    A step towards death of test cricket.

  • on June 6, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Lol the Pak series is still about an year off no good talking about it now, but I don't think they have much of a chance unless they find 2 good seamers before then, Umar Gul is a reverse swing reliant bowler who gets it in 2 out of 10 matches rest of them he generallly flops or is ineffective at best.

    Right now we're not going that way just trying old horses - Mohammad Sami has almost no chance of being an effective Test match bowler, he gets no swing and balls darts which dislodge a batsman not used to pace but once they get used to it he becomes useless, and Sohail Tanvir swings the ball a lot for 3-4 overs then goes straight and slow.

    Saeed Ajmal is good but in ODI/ T20 he's too conservative as is Afridi as a result both tend to get milked, an aggressive fast bowler is what we need and since Amir I haven't seen one who can do the job

  • WickyRoy.paklover on June 6, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    @Sirviv73,i gues there r gd 7 to 8 mnths befor ths tour starts,by that time pak would b havng sme youngrs seamers on display(talha,sadaf,anwar ali,rahat ali),sadaf z a purely seam bowlr whil othr r vry pacy(bowl at 140 to 150 km/hconsistntly),u must nt writ off sami,he has gd cmback, ajmal z d bst spiner (especialy aftr hussey's nightmare),how can u forget azhar ali(future inzi),i hav gret respct 4 safas bt they r betr odi,t20 side than test ,so it would be 45.55 in safas favor in al three formats of ths tour

  • Robster1 on June 6, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    And two test series are a waste of time. The ICC should immediately introduce a rule that all test series - and I mean all - should consist of three matches.

  • Robster1 on June 6, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    Terrible, short sighted and sad decision. SA should be creating a long term tradition of always staging a test starting on Boxing Day. If not in Durban, how about Port Elizabeth then. It seems to work in Melbourne eh...At least the first Newlands test will start a day earlier on January 2 - but now with a long gap after the Durban 20/20 why not commence the Cape Town match on New Years Day itself when most Capetonians have an automatic day off work ?

  • Lord_Dravid on June 6, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    money money money!!!.....................

  • on June 5, 2012, 23:22 GMT

    such a sad decision - As a NZer we need to play more tests - only way that we will improve. T20's are firmly on the "entertainment" end of the spectrum - guess we should be thankful that we at least have two tests.

  • Jarr30 on June 5, 2012, 22:40 GMT

    DON'T BLAME BCCI FOR THIS TOO. Let's face the reality. A T20 on boxing day will bring 40 times more income to SA board than playing dull 5 days of test cricket.

  • yorkshirematt on June 5, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    I see what they've done. SA usually lose the Boxing Day test at Kingsmead

  • SirViv1973 on June 5, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    @Rafaye, also you didn't crush WIndies you only managed a draw there last year!

  • SirViv1973 on June 5, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    @Rafaye, to be fair SAF as good as they are, are not a ruthless outfit the fact they lost a test at home against SRL last year who's seam bowling options are even more limited than Pak, will give Pak some hope. Yes Pak have done very well in recent times but come on bro all the success other than winning in NZL has been in favorable conditions in Asia. Pak need some quality seamers to back Gul up Ajmal simply won't spin teams out in places like SAF and at the moment I just don't see any. I think most Pak fans who write on here will also admit that the batting isn't great if Pak are to post big scores there is still a heavy reliance on Misbah & Younis, Asad & Umar Akmal are decent young batsmen but both have much to prove at this level. I wont write Pak off but it will be a very difficult series for them. Even though you don't rate Morkel he will be a handful in his own back yard as will Phillander & if he plays so will De Lange just ask the likes of Jayawardne & Sangakarra!

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 5, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    EXCELLENT news !!!!! Way to go SACB !!! big blow for test cricket and its followers. I can't wait for that day when good old test cricket is buried in the deepest lanes of memory. This world needs quick high octane sporting solution. T20 provides that to fans as well as new comers to the game. Imagine I brought my friend who knows NOTHING about cricket to a test match. He would sulk and become irate cause the whole thing doesn't make any sense to him. Fact is it doesn't make much sense to me either (test cricket). 5 days of time wasting, no guarantee of result, slow paced, and simply boring. T20 is all that you need in having competitiveness, drama, fun, and adrenaline rush. I am sure many other boards will follow suit.

  • skepticaloptimist on June 5, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    So much naive talk about tradition being lost. Too bad, move on. Change is a perpetual constant (yeah, I know everyone gets excited about the nice little paradox, so I'll destroy the fun of trying to make me sound like a fool). Things have to change as the demand of the populace change. There are no permanent traditions, I assure you. I'm not intending to be philosophical about it, but admit it: you've got to move on. Moreover, just because something is a tradition, it doesn't necessarily translate into that thing holding a natural justification. Harakiri was a tradition, part of the Bushido code. Whilst the Japanese had it, it was a great tradition. Then they moved on; yes, there were naysayers, but who cares? Same goes with this tradition. I didn't particularly care it, and yes it was a "tradition." In addition, it's a Marginal Utility vs Marginal Cost question. The Board finds it more useful to play a T20 than the traditional Test; so, be it, as long as the people approve.

  • on June 5, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    @sirviv1973 please dont make me laugh bro ... we will see to it when the time comes , dont forget that the beauty of pakistan cricket is their un-predictable nature ... morkel is one highly over-rated bowler and the new comers philander and de-lenge still got to prove themselves ,,taking wickets against a weak KIWI side doesnt prove anything.. .. the whole world know it ..and for your kind info , it doesnt matter how the pitches wud be,seaming or turning ,as we have taken them out of the equation ever since the time pakistan has started playing out of home ...playing in such conditions widout home support and winning is not easy dude ... we have only lost one test series against england (back in england 2010) ... since then our team has crushed every single opponent dat came into its way ...

  • on June 5, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    Disappointing. It's not the greatest surprise, Durban no longer hosts big-name music concerts either because they just don't attend, but very sad that this tradition might be lost. Bring the Boxing Day test to the Wanderers. It's not like Johannesburg is empty over Christmas.

  • MrGarreth on June 5, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    Although I do understand it because of the dwindling crowds in my country it doesnt make it any less sad. Ive been used to a South African boxing day text ever since I was a wee lad. To see tradition so easily succumb to greed is the sign of the times

  • on June 5, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    A lot of typical ill informed comments as usual. To the Australians bleating about Boxing day and CSA stance. Yes Durban has been poor, but Newlands at New Year gets good crowds. So going to Australia still wouldnt be right in that period. Facts Facts how rare are thee in these parts

  • A_Yorkshire_Lad on June 5, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Being used to attending tests in England which are invariably sell-outs for the first 3/4 days , we are understandably bemused by this decision , however , the South African cricket-going public is a more fickle one than our own ! I was at the last test played in Port Elizabeth (Vs the West Indies ) on days 2 and 3 and looking at some pictures that I took , the crowd was very sparse indeed ! Of course , PE is , by comparison to the UK , a 'small' city in a comparatively thinly-populated area and it seems that people just don't want to pay for going to the cricket for days at a time - even though tickets cost a fraction of what we pay in England ! I've been to several ODIs in PE and , incidentally , the IPL matches that were played there in 2009 and they were all sell-outs ! So this decision is hardly surprising especially with the visitors being 'only' (sorry!) New Zealand ; if it were us or the aussies touring , I'm sure it would be a different matter. Sorry , Nuxxy !

  • borhans on June 5, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Again cricket board choose low graded popcorn T20 instead of real cricket like Test .So why don't they start Hollywood movie showing in stadium if they really want crown .These team management just want money they don't want cricket

  • Nadeem1976 on June 5, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    Way to go SA. T2020 is future of cricket and i love it when SA evolve with changing world of cricket. Play test cricket but T2020 will give you more money , more entertainment and full house. Good decision in current circumstances.

  • PratUSA on June 5, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    Not just the boxing day test but no test in Durban at all in this season. The reality is that Durban wasn't drawing any crowds in for the boxing day test. Even marquee India test in December 2012 was played in front of largely empty stands. Couple of years ago while new FTP was being drawn out, SA refused to tour Australia in Dec/Jan period as Australia were unwilling to give up their traditional Melbourne and Sydney tests and tour SA in this period either. And now this has happened. May be there will be another Australia - South Africa boxing day test after all.

  • SirViv1973 on June 5, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    @BabbarAbbasMalik, I would disagree I think Pak will struggle against SAF in SAF. Pak batting is still pretty weak & I think they will find it difficult against the likes of Steyn,Morkel, Phillander & De Lange on what is likley to be seamer friendly surfaces. To go with that Pak don't have too much to offer in the seam department. Their strength is spin with Ajmal, Rehman & Hafeez, Rehman won't get a game as Pak will need 3 seamers & Ajmal as brilliant as he is in asia has struggled when taken out of his comfort zone. As for the seamers Gul is good in asian conditions but like Ajmal tends to struggle away from asia, Junaid Khan remains a decent prospect but is still very raw, Wahab Riaz seems to be out of favor& Cheema dosen't look too threatening, but I think the recall of Sami would seem to sum up Pak situation, this guy has played 35 tests & barley taken 80 wickets at an ave of well over 50 he would have been discarded by anyone else a long time ago.

  • SirViv1973 on June 5, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    @Randy Oz, never thought I'd say this but completely agree with you. SACB made a big deal of the fact that they had their own boxing day test so couldn't play in Aus in the foreseeable future now a year or so later they announce there will be no Boxing Day test in favor of a T20. Sadly though its probably down to NZL not being a big draw in tests and they knew there would be a problem putting bums on seats for this one. They know they will get a bigger crowd for 2 extra T20 games than they would have got for the whole 5 days of the Boxing day test. Test cricket just dosen't seem to be a huge draw for spectators in SAF. Last year's series with Aus was proorley attended which was very disappointing. I would imagine when Eng & Ind visit they will probably have a Boxing day test as they will get a decent turnout but I think if it's anyone else a T20 will probably be the way they go in future.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on June 5, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    And a couple of years ago they were bleating about having to play Boxing Day Tests in Australia and saying Australia should come to them. Disgraceful. It's this sort of flakey thinking that has seen SA as permanent number 2 in the world behind Aust then India & now England.

  • Herath-UK on June 5, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    Test cricket is facing a tough time though everone would preach that they would give preference to it over other formats.Players and boards are lured by the money and unless some serious thinking goes into this we could hear worse news in time to come. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • JustOUT on June 5, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    One of the reason i see is, since NZ is not a worthy Test opposition for SA, the board might hv opted for T20 with NZ to pull crowd. If it's against Aus or Eng or Pak or Ind, surely it will be a test match on boxing day.

  • sacricketlegend on June 5, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    Disgusting. I hate sports administrators.

  • on June 5, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    Didn't expect this from South Africa. I enjoy watching T20 but would always hate it for ruining real/pure form of Cricket.

  • on June 5, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    Pathetic decision , every cricket fan wait for the boxing days test :(.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 5, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Well it may not be that bad. Its just a difference for boxing day. They key thing is they did not REMOVE a test match, they just switched it around. I do think though that a Boxing Day T20 will be nowhere near as epic as a Test Match. I can actually see Australia with a decline in the crowd due to changing the Boxing Day Test to a Boxing Day T20

  • on June 5, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    its sad to go opposite from tradition. . This proves that t20 is ruining test's value

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Unbelievable that South Africa can do away with tradition to make some more money. Not the spirit that anyone would hope for. This is a really sad day for international cricket.

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    Its really nice to see Pakistan in South Africa for full series.It will be a close contest.

  • Sinhaya on June 5, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Well seems South Africa losing to Sri Lanka last year at the Kingsmead is the real reason for scrapping the traditional Boxing day test in Durban. For Pakistan, this will be a real test for their not so great batting lineup against some real quality bowling. By the way as a Lankan, I am eager to see South Africa tour Sri Lanka in July next year.

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    I've said it before and i'll say i now test cricket is the ultimate challenge between ball & bat. The best part of Test cricket is when a top class bowler traps a world class batsman. I remember once, Wasim Akram got Mark Taylor out on the 6th delivery. The commentators, i think it was Ian Chapel & Tony Grieg showed the full over and only after seeing all the deliveries you begin to appreciate the effort behind each ball . T20 is T20, nothing more, bit like the WWF wrestling.

  • BellCurve on June 5, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    This is a very, very sad day for cricket. The move to T20 is a big mistake. The BCCI will realise this in the long run. T20 favours big strong batsmen like Gayle and Pietersen, just like baseball favours big strong sluggers like Alex Rodriguez. How many big strong batsmen do India produce? I predict that in the end it will be India who will keep Test cricket alive. They just don't know it yet.

  • moloko on June 5, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    to replace a test match with a t20 during the summer in sa is really disappointing. during that time will wnat to watch a test match that takes place over 5 days. we are going to be bored to death

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    A very sad day for SA cricket indeed! The boxing day test is the guilty free pleasure that proper cricket fans look forward to. I, for one, will watch the Australia boxing day test, and I will ignore the pointless t20 that has replaced ours. The boxing day test is probably a highlight for every avid cricket fan, because this is when most people take leave and, therefore, its one of the few tests where we can watch more than just a weekend's worth of cricket and follow the rest of the test here on cricinfo.

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Some fresh faces in Pakistan team will have to work very hard on their cricket before touring South Africa...Senior players will be the key to success and will have to prove their experience...

  • 1st_april on June 5, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    Durban gone due to a poor record by SAF....not even giving their players a chance for corrigendum at the venue.....so often is the case with SAF....the game is always lost in the mind....

  • SuperSharky on June 5, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    This is a disgrace ! Find another date for the 20/20 match. Out of the 365 days a year, my best chance, as a working class hero, to watch 5 days of cricket, were the Boxing Day Test.

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    SAD day for SAcricket..2 tests and 3 t20is? unbelieble.

  • MrPontingToYou on June 5, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    this has got to be one of the worst decisions ever in cricket.. to replace a test with a 20/20 is just sickening.

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    I laugh at all you people that say a T20i is meanngless... how is it meaningless when you have a World Cup for it?! What does Tests have? A Ranking to say you're the "The Best in the World" in a sport that only has 10 teams playing?! Sorry but that is NOT the world. Test Cricket is a relic of the old segregated world that will DIE just like everything else from the old world. Cricket wants to stay relevant it must spread the game BEYOND 10 teams, look at Baseball! They're clearly winning the globalization war with the frontiers they have reached

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Money money money! Cricket loses out again!

  • Winsome on June 5, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    SA test matches are not well-attended. It's a great idea to have a T20 on Boxing Day. It will probably be a full-house as the whole family can go. No point pretending that test matches are the way to grow cricket when T20s can get the whole family interested.

  • on June 5, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    From the comments here it seems like dumping test cricket for t20 is after all not that famous. I think the administrators are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs by pushing off tests in favor of t20.

  • johntycodes on June 5, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    So much for the south african cricket board kicking up a stink about how they never host australia on boxing day and they always want to play a test on boxing day.

  • on June 5, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Traditional Boxing Day Test. NOT Traditional Boxing Day T20. A sad, sad day for RSA. You sold out, liefe.

  • jmcilhinney on June 5, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    @longfellow on (June 05 2012, 10:38 AM GMT), I don't think that anyone is denying that but previously people would have considered the Boxing Day Test to be the jewel in the crown and the fact that that pride of place has been given to a T20 is what I'm sure that many fear is the beginning of a slippery slope. In fact, I'm sure that many think that we're already on that slippery slope and that this a continuation rather than the start.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 5, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    And the revolution begins. We will never truly lose Test cricket until the players themselves devalue it. Here's hoping to another 100 years

  • cricfan17 on June 5, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    As a South African firstly and a cricketer second, I find this an outrage. I don't understand how you can just scrap an age old tradition!

  • PureTom on June 5, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    We might as well have just gone along with Australia and only played them in Oz over the New Year. What was the point of making sure we don't have a full Australia tour until 2020 and then cancelling the Boxing Day Test anyway?!?! Granted the "important" one is the New Years test at Newlands, Durban has been rather disappointing for years (and we always lose there!) but then move the Test Match! To add insult to injury it's been replaced by a T20! Enjoy your Happy Meal for Christmas Dinner SA, because there's no Roast this year.

  • SanjivAwesome on June 5, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    If you read the full article, there are still 5 Test matches in the summer. I calulate that as 25 looooonnnnnnggg days of players and staff from one team watching the players of another team in a battle of attrition. Who knows, there may be a few fans in the stands too! Time will tell. One thing is for sure, this summer's test match attendances in SA and Aus will be most instructive.

  • veerakannadiga on June 5, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    tradition makes way to slam bang cricket.......not a healthy sign for test cricket.Now that Rahul Dravid is retired and players like Kallis,chanderpaul etc..are the last straws who are holding test cricket from falling apart. Once these greats retire, it is bye, bye, test cricket. God Save us all. AMEN.

  • funkyandy on June 5, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    Its only June, and my Xmas has been disrupted already! I love chilling out Boxing Day onwards with quality test match cricket. 20/20 is no substitute!! Surely Pakistan should be playing over Xmas and New Year - NZ will offer no resistance to Steyn, Morkel, Philander and Tahir - men against boys in that series.

  • on June 5, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    SA tour will be the biggest challenge for new pakistan test team.Altough SA will be favourite but Pakistan will give them good challenge.Hope the series is competative

  • Syed_imran_abbas on June 5, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    Pak vs SA.. thats is gona be a great series.. pakistan test side is very much settle now and i hope by that time they can get settle their odi,s and t20 teams as well. limited format teams are not bad, just gonta refine their selection.. there is plenty of talent and skills.. they need to give thier best 11 a chance.. anyways looking forward to this series.

  • a1234s on June 5, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    welcome change. now, lets hope Australia follow suit. I would prefer to watch a T20 over a SA- NZ/ Eng-WI test match any day.. atleast the torture would be over in a couple of hours.

  • DaveFish on June 5, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    That SUCKS.........................

  • SuperSharky on June 5, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    It's again all about the money = success. After all the corruption news in SA Cricket and transformation going wrong, this isn't any better news. Looks like the traditional cricketers are being replaced by greedy money-wolves in South Africa. I feel sorry for your traditional cricket minority Saffers, because I know not all of you wanted this to happen! A Twenty twenty instead of a Test ! Ridiculous rubbish. Choose an other date for the twenty/20 matches.

  • on June 5, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    Truly disappointed. I know Durban isnt the best venue, but its tradition! And to remove the whole test for some crappy meaningless T20 is really not cool.

  • jabrankundi on June 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    The world will always keep changing folks. And humans will always keep saying '...in our days this was done like this...' Let's accept that cricket is drastically changing and it is a money-making sport now. T20s will rule the game for the coming years and will only stop if the people investing money into it stop doing that. As long as it's earning $$$, it's here to stay.

  • jmcilhinney on June 5, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (June 05 2012, 09:31 AM GMT), it may actually be Australia's refusal to budge that is part cause for this. Test cricket is still king in England (the team I support) and Australia (where I live) so we are lucky. Unfortunately for everyone, that is not the case everywhere else and, if I'm not mistaken, SA is one of those places. Tests are maybe comparatively more popular there than in some other countries but not nearly as popular as they are in England and Australia. Maybe a few Boxing Day Tests against Australia could have helped change that. Then again, maybe not. SA have decided that T20 on Boxing Day will be more lucrative. Given the advent of the BBL in Australia, I'll wager that if Test cricket loses popularity to a similar degree in Australia then CA would have no issue making a similar change. Let us pray that it never comes to that but don't be fooled by your rampant nationalism into thinking that CA won't just do whatever they think will make the most money.

  • on June 5, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Will be a good test for uprising Pakistan.

  • on June 5, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Oh that really sucks. As a NZ cricket fan, I was really looking forward to having us be part of that boxing day test, instead we get a meaningless 20/20 and the tradition of boxingday tests in SAF gets diminished. The next test doesn't start till Jan 2, so there is plenty of time for the boxing day test to take place. Can't all the 20/20s take place on the 20th, 21st and 23rd or something? It should be a 3 test series too. Noone really cares who wins a 2 test series, 3 should be the minimum.

  • stormy16 on June 5, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Begining of the end for test cricket? May be not but the traditional boxing day test is replaced with a T20 the signs arent good. I dont understand how a couple of T20's (80 overs - 1 day in test cricket) replacing a five day test is better for anyone. The crowds only get 2 x half day of cricket when its the festive season and people have time to spend time at the cricket. All very strange and sad.

  • jmcilhinney on June 5, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    @Abhijith Jagirdar on (June 05 2012, 09:20 AM GMT), I think more likely people will blame the BCCI and the IPL for turning T20 cricket into a money printing business at the expense of cricket itself. Mind you, the game's administrators outside India don't seem to mind following, or at least trying to follow, in their footsteps so I don't think that all the criticism is warranted. I'm just not sure that any other country would have been able to generate the T20 circus we now see without India, because it is the sheer volume of people in India that generates the huge financial investments in T20 in India that money-hungry administrators, who are not themselves cricketers and probably not always even cricket fans especially, want now to emulate.

  • longfellow on June 5, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    If you read the whole article instead of just the title you'll see that there's still plenty of test cricket being played next season! Just a slight change in the traditional schedule that's all! 5 tests, 5 T20's, 8 ODIs. That's a good balance as far as I'm concerned and I am a HUGE test fan!

  • skepticaloptimist on June 5, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    Well written. RandyOZ, I might as well add something to it your statement. Australia always had dibs on Boxing Days. That said, the traditions is equally consequential as, if not less important, than Papua New Guinea claim to pig foot and kasava soup.

  • Brenton1 on June 5, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    What a sad day in south african cricket. We have sacrificed a test match for a T20. To appease the masses the cricket will be diluted to the lowest form.

  • Shuaib_A on June 5, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    i am also shocked that Durban is not getting a test. its a disgrace that the boxing day test is gone! shameful!. back to the Durban part, i think part reason everyone forgets is the weather. holding a 5day test in Durban is tantamount to holding a 3 day test. HOURS each day is lost to rain and bad light. so in a way, removing it from Durban is understandable, but removing it totally from the calender, that's just pathetic!

  • on June 5, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    Two match series is a real farce, doesn't icc and other cricketing boards see the obvious? Has common sense become that uncommon?

  • on June 5, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Money rules in sport and not a lot of people will go and watch a test match between SA and NZ. As long as the traditional test match at Newlands stay. The only place in SA where people still watch and enjoy test cricket.

  • satish619chandar on June 5, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    As much i prefer a BD test, It might be a good thing for families to have T20 game as well.. They can all have fun which will increase the crowds and the revenue also.. But, It would not get the players in serious mood to win the game and remember it for years about it.. Pity the players for this..

  • tpjpower on June 5, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    A Boxing Day Test scrapped for T20 rubbish? Oh please, please, CA - never go the way of the Saffers.

  • on June 5, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    and yet they recently refused to tour australia over the christmas period from this season onwards because of their own boxing day test. idiots

  • Geeva on June 5, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Why would you scrap a tradition of the Boxing Day Test match!SA have lost 3 test in a row at durban,now to erase the bogey NO TEST in DBN!!seriously who wants to play in Paarl and kimberly!!Hmm nelwands and kingsmead are 20 000 already!CSA would have made money for 40000!!If they wish to rotate test it should be centuruon and joburg as it is in same province!!!At least PE getting a Test match finaly 2008 was da last!!

  • AtifFazal11 on June 5, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    This will be Pakistan's real. test as a test team

  • RandyOZ on June 5, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    So they refuse to play in Oz for years because they also have their own Boxing Day test, and then go and do this. Just goes to show how little they care for tradition when more money is available. Looks like Australia's claim to the only rightful Boxing day test was correct all along!

  • srriaj317 on June 5, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    With so much news since last week players retiring, scheduling clashes for countries, unavailable players and now T20 replacing a traditional test...I'm pretty sure 2012 is the end of the world!

  • Nuxxy on June 5, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    ICC please ban 2-test series. They are pointless. I live in South Africa, in Port Elizabeth, and would gladly lose our T20 for a 3rd Test.

  • on June 5, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Now the anti IPL and anti Indian fans may well blame BCCI and IPL for the cancellation of the test lol......................

  • Heisenburg on June 5, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Replace a boxing day test! This is a disgrace.

  • jabrankundi on June 5, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    NoTest for Durban. I remember someone commenting here on cricinfo why SA holds matches in Durban when they always lose them. Nice to see they have done away with the venue for tests.

  • on June 5, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Why.. o why!! Please don't!!

  • Simoc on June 5, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    That should ensure they get more than the dozen or so spectators that turned up last time NZ played a test there.

  • on June 5, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Tradition should not be scrambled but T20s have nowadays become a very good form of cricket

  • on June 5, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    Pak vs SA will be great series

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  • on June 5, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    Pak vs SA will be great series

  • on June 5, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Tradition should not be scrambled but T20s have nowadays become a very good form of cricket

  • Simoc on June 5, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    That should ensure they get more than the dozen or so spectators that turned up last time NZ played a test there.

  • on June 5, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Why.. o why!! Please don't!!

  • jabrankundi on June 5, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    NoTest for Durban. I remember someone commenting here on cricinfo why SA holds matches in Durban when they always lose them. Nice to see they have done away with the venue for tests.

  • Heisenburg on June 5, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Replace a boxing day test! This is a disgrace.

  • on June 5, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Now the anti IPL and anti Indian fans may well blame BCCI and IPL for the cancellation of the test lol......................

  • Nuxxy on June 5, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    ICC please ban 2-test series. They are pointless. I live in South Africa, in Port Elizabeth, and would gladly lose our T20 for a 3rd Test.

  • srriaj317 on June 5, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    With so much news since last week players retiring, scheduling clashes for countries, unavailable players and now T20 replacing a traditional test...I'm pretty sure 2012 is the end of the world!

  • RandyOZ on June 5, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    So they refuse to play in Oz for years because they also have their own Boxing Day test, and then go and do this. Just goes to show how little they care for tradition when more money is available. Looks like Australia's claim to the only rightful Boxing day test was correct all along!