South Africa news July 8, 2014

Four-Test rubbers for SA in next FTP cycle

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Despite not getting a seat on any of the ICC sub-committees at the organisation's revamp at their annual conference in Melbourne ten days ago, South Africa could make some gains according to the latest version of the 2015-2023 FTP which has been seen by ESPNcricinfo. The draft schedule has four-Test series planned against India, Australia and England, both home and away, which will raise the South Africa's cricketing and monetary profile.

Although South Africa were ranked the No.1 Test side in the world between August 2012 and March 2014, they have been subjected to a lean schedule recently which has been a source of frustration for everyone from former captain Graeme Smith to the fans. Three of South Africa's last five Test series have see just two Tests each and their last four-Test series was when they hosted England in 2009/10.

The draft has South Africa pencilled in to play four-Test series every season from 2015/16 to 2022/23. It also includes a five-Test series against England, in early 2020. There is also a four-Test series scheduled against West Indies in 2020 and one against Sri Lanka at home in February/March 2021.

Apart from the increased number of matches, South Africa will also gain financially from the proposed new FTP. Like the other members of the small seven, CSA only make money when hosting one of India, England or Australia and the more fixtures they have against them, the healthier their bank balance will look. As proof of that, consider that it is estimated that CSA missed out on an approximately R318 million (US$31.8 million) when India's visit last summer was cut from three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20s to two Tests and three ODIs.

Zimbabwe are the other nation who have recently shown how great their dependence on India is. With their administration lurching from one financial crisis to the next, they have had to postpone international series, including one against Sri Lanka last year because they could not afford hosting costs. Only a five ODI visit from India last July provided ZC with the cash flow they needed to pay player salaries and host Pakistan later in the year.

There is good news for them too in the latest draft FTP. Zimbabwe's Test schedule will see them play three Test series against Bangladesh in the next two years, host India for a Test and three ODIs in June 2016 and visit India for the same number of matches in February/March 2019. While Australia are also due to tour Zimbabwe, in June/July 2018 for two Tests and three ODIs, there are no visits either to or from England, in keeping with the political standoff between the two nations.

Member nations have been told to sign their bilateral agreements by the next ICC Board meeting in October in order to firmly establish that FTP is both "binding and bankable".

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • McGorium on July 9, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    @ fairplay_cricket_fan: I thought we were talking about test cricket. I'm talking about a kind of game that is irresistible to watch. Pakistan of Wasim, Imran, and Waqar played attractive test cricket. Does Pak of today have nearly the same aura? SRL is not what it was with Murali, Vaas played; I might revisit that opinion if they can reproduce their recent English success elsewhere. WI? Same thing. Anyway, the boards are trying to maximize revenue; as long as advertisers keep paying, they'll keep playing. The bean counters figure out Aus/Eng/Ind playing each other makes more $$ than playing anyone else. Is it ideal? Perhaps not for Pak/SL/WI, but if an Ind-Pak game can't match the revenue (or can't be played due to political issues), why would they? The thing with cricket is that the fans don't directly pay; the advertisers do. So it is they who decide what's profitable.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 9, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Great news, at least we have 4 match test series against the Big 3 which is better than the previous 3 Test series. Happy days.

  • TheProfPak on July 9, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Disappointed to see only 1 test series b/w SA and PAK.

  • Skolla on July 9, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Best news on the cricketing front for ages!

    Busy watching with one eye SA playing another meaningless ODI against Sri Lanka - cant wait for proper cricket!

  • wrenx on July 9, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    If Zimbabwe need help with finances, then switch some bi-lateral hosting for tri-series tours. They're more likely to garner interest as a wildcard in a series that includes India and South Africa than they are from simply hosting on their own.

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 9, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    I totally agree with Jamie. FTPs should be merit based. Would be lovely to see SA taking on Aus for a series back to back in both countries.

    Thats a real spectacle. Even New Zealand on current from should get good teams to play against. But with the current way cricket world operate, they will get nothing as that 4.5 million population cannot bring in revenues. But the bigger countries who plays substandard cricket will get more and more tours and airtime.

  • landofcricket on July 9, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @ Mcgorium i agree with your point...u made it clear that up and down comes for every team..so we should not disrespect and underestimate teams based on their current performance...

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 9, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Dear McGorium,

    I am so surprised you dont find the type of cricket played by Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka unattractive. In fact all three teams in the last decade been in more Semi and Finals in ICC events than the supposed big 3. India and Australia has atleast been in some.

    your argument is well and true. But you have missed the point. Yes. Australia lost to India in India. England beat Australia in England. thats accepted as well. But my point is, why is the big three still trying to play amongst each other ever so often. Look at the FTP of India and Australia. see how often these three will meet each other?

    ICC has got it totally wrong. It is time they realise that if they only concentrate of few nations and dot spend their energy and money globlising it, cricket will die. No one will no what cricket is all about.

    No wonder Maria Sharapova didnt know who the greatest current cricketer is. One day only Indians, Aussies and Englishmen will only play cricket.

  • on July 8, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    Greatest spectacle in modern cricket would be Australia v SA playing a 5 test series as it would be a brutally tough series right done to the last over no doubt. Or a 4 test series home then away. But most likely be 3 ashes series before we face SA again.

  • fguy on July 8, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    @Saurabh Wahi exactly, now ftp is decided by respective boards so those ppl unhappy with their team's fixtures should complain about it to their boards & have them organise matches amongst themselves. but even these fans are "big 3" (& more specifically, india) obsessed & really only concerned about playing matches with them

  • McGorium on July 9, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    @ fairplay_cricket_fan: I thought we were talking about test cricket. I'm talking about a kind of game that is irresistible to watch. Pakistan of Wasim, Imran, and Waqar played attractive test cricket. Does Pak of today have nearly the same aura? SRL is not what it was with Murali, Vaas played; I might revisit that opinion if they can reproduce their recent English success elsewhere. WI? Same thing. Anyway, the boards are trying to maximize revenue; as long as advertisers keep paying, they'll keep playing. The bean counters figure out Aus/Eng/Ind playing each other makes more $$ than playing anyone else. Is it ideal? Perhaps not for Pak/SL/WI, but if an Ind-Pak game can't match the revenue (or can't be played due to political issues), why would they? The thing with cricket is that the fans don't directly pay; the advertisers do. So it is they who decide what's profitable.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 9, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Great news, at least we have 4 match test series against the Big 3 which is better than the previous 3 Test series. Happy days.

  • TheProfPak on July 9, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Disappointed to see only 1 test series b/w SA and PAK.

  • Skolla on July 9, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Best news on the cricketing front for ages!

    Busy watching with one eye SA playing another meaningless ODI against Sri Lanka - cant wait for proper cricket!

  • wrenx on July 9, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    If Zimbabwe need help with finances, then switch some bi-lateral hosting for tri-series tours. They're more likely to garner interest as a wildcard in a series that includes India and South Africa than they are from simply hosting on their own.

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 9, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    I totally agree with Jamie. FTPs should be merit based. Would be lovely to see SA taking on Aus for a series back to back in both countries.

    Thats a real spectacle. Even New Zealand on current from should get good teams to play against. But with the current way cricket world operate, they will get nothing as that 4.5 million population cannot bring in revenues. But the bigger countries who plays substandard cricket will get more and more tours and airtime.

  • landofcricket on July 9, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @ Mcgorium i agree with your point...u made it clear that up and down comes for every team..so we should not disrespect and underestimate teams based on their current performance...

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 9, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Dear McGorium,

    I am so surprised you dont find the type of cricket played by Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka unattractive. In fact all three teams in the last decade been in more Semi and Finals in ICC events than the supposed big 3. India and Australia has atleast been in some.

    your argument is well and true. But you have missed the point. Yes. Australia lost to India in India. England beat Australia in England. thats accepted as well. But my point is, why is the big three still trying to play amongst each other ever so often. Look at the FTP of India and Australia. see how often these three will meet each other?

    ICC has got it totally wrong. It is time they realise that if they only concentrate of few nations and dot spend their energy and money globlising it, cricket will die. No one will no what cricket is all about.

    No wonder Maria Sharapova didnt know who the greatest current cricketer is. One day only Indians, Aussies and Englishmen will only play cricket.

  • on July 8, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    Greatest spectacle in modern cricket would be Australia v SA playing a 5 test series as it would be a brutally tough series right done to the last over no doubt. Or a 4 test series home then away. But most likely be 3 ashes series before we face SA again.

  • fguy on July 8, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    @Saurabh Wahi exactly, now ftp is decided by respective boards so those ppl unhappy with their team's fixtures should complain about it to their boards & have them organise matches amongst themselves. but even these fans are "big 3" (& more specifically, india) obsessed & really only concerned about playing matches with them

  • on July 8, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    fairplay_cricket_fan, BRUTALANALYST not sure what stops Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand and Pakistan to schedule more Test cricket between themselves.

  • BRUTALANALYST on July 8, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Good for them but it's sad to see 2 developing sides like W.I and NZ have mostly 2 or if lucky the odd 3 match series in the recent schedule. These 2 sides need to be given more games it's just becoming a joke and seems like the ashes is on every year and nothing else matters. Test cricket really needs these other sides to improve again to survive.

  • McGorium on July 8, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    @ fairplay_cricket_fan: You missed a few crucial data points: Australia also lost 4-0 to India in India. Now you might say Indian home victories don't count; in that case, why should aussie home victories count? Just a year ago, (2013), England beat Australia 3-0 in England. So what does that _really_ tell you about the state of cricket? To me, it says that there is no team that can consistently win home and away. If England win at home again, it does little to change this situation. If India win, it'll still be an outlier against a general trend, just as the recent SRL victory was. As far as your deep-seated jealousy for India's economic clout in the game is concerned: get over it. This isn't a charity. You only get a seat at the table if you bring something of value; either an extremely entertaining brand of cricket (like WI in 80's) or money or both. Pak,SRL,WI today bring neither.Of the big 3, Aus has the potential of developing an entertaining brand of cricket, but it's too early

  • SICHO on July 8, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    Boy I've been waiting to hear this for a long time! The quality of cricket our boys are playing surely deserved more tests, and the world too deserves to see the Steyns, Philanders and Morkels taking on the likes of Kohli, Clarke, and all the likes

  • on July 8, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    When is the FTP expected to be officially released?

  • ZainE111 on July 8, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    @Robster1 - It will be fairer if that were to happen: Ie a top tier of nations playing test matches and a second tier of nations playing 5 day first class matches. That second tier will include countries like Ireland, Bangladesh and possibly Afghanistan.

    Relegations and promotion would occur regularly - say every 2/3 years.

    But good luck getting Bangladesh, NZ or WI on board!

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 8, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    England whitewashed India 4 years ago. For the sake of cricket, I hope England will win this current seriesl. England got well and truely humiliated by Australia. So now, assuming India gets beaten, just figure out the scenario.

    Australia ahead of the other two teams by light years. England placed in the middle and India looming way in the pits, down below, dead and buried. Humiliated.

    But still gets the best deals.

    Who said it is a Gentlemans game? at least not when it comes to administration.

  • Robster1 on July 8, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Reassuring is to see South Africa committed to longer test series (and hopefully fixed tests for both Boxing Day and then New Year's at Newlands) wouldn't it make for a clearer and fairer competition to have all rubbers the same length. And two, or more divisions, with all playing all over a fixed time period and then promotion/relegation between theses divisions.

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 8, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    West Indies, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Bangladesh seems to have been knocked out in style by the big three and now South Africa. No wonder why South Africa slowly retracted from their position sometime back when the big 3 proposal came in to play.

    I wish someone in the calibre of Sepp Blatter will take over cricket one day and genuinely make it a global game, rather than some cement manufacturing guy making it a power game.

    dissapointing.

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 8, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    So i take it as South Africa, India, Australia and England will play against each other over and over in the next decade, ignoring small countries like New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh and still call cricket a global sport?

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    A link to a copy of the document, please.

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    More tests is all the South African fans want!

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Good that India will be playing a lot of tests against southafrica who are an amazing test side even after losing to Australia

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    All good stuff, the new political situation might not be to everyone's taste, but it seems to me that there is good decisions being made far more often than was previously the case. This is a big bonus for SA at every level.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    All good stuff, the new political situation might not be to everyone's taste, but it seems to me that there is good decisions being made far more often than was previously the case. This is a big bonus for SA at every level.

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Good that India will be playing a lot of tests against southafrica who are an amazing test side even after losing to Australia

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    More tests is all the South African fans want!

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    A link to a copy of the document, please.

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 8, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    So i take it as South Africa, India, Australia and England will play against each other over and over in the next decade, ignoring small countries like New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh and still call cricket a global sport?

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 8, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    West Indies, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Bangladesh seems to have been knocked out in style by the big three and now South Africa. No wonder why South Africa slowly retracted from their position sometime back when the big 3 proposal came in to play.

    I wish someone in the calibre of Sepp Blatter will take over cricket one day and genuinely make it a global game, rather than some cement manufacturing guy making it a power game.

    dissapointing.

  • Robster1 on July 8, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Reassuring is to see South Africa committed to longer test series (and hopefully fixed tests for both Boxing Day and then New Year's at Newlands) wouldn't it make for a clearer and fairer competition to have all rubbers the same length. And two, or more divisions, with all playing all over a fixed time period and then promotion/relegation between theses divisions.

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on July 8, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    England whitewashed India 4 years ago. For the sake of cricket, I hope England will win this current seriesl. England got well and truely humiliated by Australia. So now, assuming India gets beaten, just figure out the scenario.

    Australia ahead of the other two teams by light years. England placed in the middle and India looming way in the pits, down below, dead and buried. Humiliated.

    But still gets the best deals.

    Who said it is a Gentlemans game? at least not when it comes to administration.

  • ZainE111 on July 8, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    @Robster1 - It will be fairer if that were to happen: Ie a top tier of nations playing test matches and a second tier of nations playing 5 day first class matches. That second tier will include countries like Ireland, Bangladesh and possibly Afghanistan.

    Relegations and promotion would occur regularly - say every 2/3 years.

    But good luck getting Bangladesh, NZ or WI on board!

  • on July 8, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    When is the FTP expected to be officially released?