Mickey Arthur: "I know people will suggest this is the start of Test cricket being 'squeezed' by high-profile, high income-generating Twenty20 cricket but it didn't feel that way to us" © AFP
 

South Africa's national players have said they are 'satisfied' with the changes to the itinerary for the end of year tour to Australia. But they have admitted that playing the three Test matches back-to-back in what has already been described as a Test Championship between the two top-ranked nations is 'not ideal'.

The inaugural Champions Twenty20 League, involving two teams each from India, Australia and South Africa as well as one each from England and Pakistan, has been shoe-horned into the international calendar at the beginning of December necessitating a change to the start of the Perth Test from December 13 to 17.

The change means that South Africa players involved in the tournament, including captain Graeme Smith, who will play for IPL winners, the Rajasthan Royals, will only arrive in Perth from India on December 10.

"It's not ideal but we are hoping the bulk of the squad will arrive in Perth on December 6 or 7 giving us 10 or 11 days to prepare during which time we hope to play a Western Australia XI in a two-day game," coach Mickey Arthur said.

"I know people will suggest this is the start of Test cricket being 'squeezed' by high-profile, high income-generating Twenty20 cricket but it didn't feel that way to us. We were consulted all the way and there was never undue pressure placed on us.

"The reality is the Champions League will be worth Rand 750 million (US$95 million) to Cricket South Africa over the next ten years," he added. "We have to look at the big picture because that kind of money will be of huge benefit to all forms of the game, and exactly the same applies to Cricket Australia. In fact, they were prepared to compromise even further in order to fit the Champions League in to the schedule."

Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency