CSA agree to postpone Sri Lanka Tests
Cricket South Africa have agreed to a request from the Sri Lanka board and postponed their Test series scheduled for next year until the middle of 2015. Jacques Faul, CSA's acting chief executive, said the change would give South Africa's players an opportunity for rest after the Champions Trophy, which takes place in England next June.
Sri Lanka Cricket had asked for the three home Tests, due to have been played at some point in July and August 2013, to be moved in order to accommodate a one-day tri-series featuring West Indies and India. The rearrangement also averts South Africa's visit from clashing with the Sri Lanka Premier League, which is likely to begin in early August.
CSA said it was still committed to playing five ODIs and three T20 internationals in Sri Lanka next year, as mandated by the Future Tours Programme (FTP). The Tests have now been put back until June 2015.
"We have acceded to the request for two reasons," Faul said. "In the first place we have a very good relationship with Sri Lanka Cricket and we have done our best to assist them. In the second place it actually works out quite well for the Proteas in handling their workload effectively.
"Had we proceeded with the Test series in Sri Lanka next year it would have meant that the Proteas would have played 11 Test matches between July 2013 and March 2014. In addition they would have had no break between the start of the ICC Champions Trophy [in June 2013] and the end of the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh in April, 2014. The rescheduling of the Test series means that the Proteas will now have a three-week break between the Champions Trophy and the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka."
"The matter has been discussed with the Proteas team management as well and it has been agreed that this is the best way forward both for CSA and Sri Lanka Cricket. The Proteas will now undertake their Test tour of Sri Lanka in June 2015, before they move on to Bangladesh in July as part of the ICC Future Tours Programme.
"I would like to stress that there was never ever any question of the Test series against Sri Lanka not happening. The status of Test cricket is paramount as far as we are concerned. We retain the same number of Tests as far as the FTP is concerned until 2019-2020."
The agreement means that after completing their tour of Australia, which includes three Tests, Sri Lanka have only four Test matches - two against Bangladesh and two against Zimbabwe - slated between January and December next year. A two-Test series against West Indies that would have potentially clashed with the 2013 IPL was scrapped last month.