South Africa news April 16, 2014

England and South Africa ink reciprocal A team tours

ESPNcricinfo staff

The England and South African A teams will participate in reciprocal tours over the next three years. England Lions are pencilled in for a tour of South Africa in January 2015 which includes two four-day matches and five one-dayers, and will subsequently host their opponents in 2017.

"It continues our policy of enabling our second best team to test itself against some of the strongest cricket playing countries in the world," said Corrie van Zyl, CSA general manager. "What is particularly important is that our A side will now tour England in 2017 at the same time as our senior squad is in that country." South Africa are scheduled to play four Tests, five ODIs and a T20 between July and September. "England is always an out-of-season tour for us and it will help a lot to know that our back-up players are match-fit in case of need."

Both England Lions and South Africa A have played their respective opponents' senior squads on previous tours and stand equal with one win and one loss across four limited-overs matches since 2008.

ECB performance director David Parsons said, "The Lions tour to South Africa will be an excellent opportunity to take on some very tough opposition in a challenging environment."