CSA (Cricket South Africa) have taken the clarified decision not to hold a Boxing Day Test when New Zealand and Pakistan tour from November to March.
“The Boxing Day Test has not been replaced or cancelled in favour of T20 cricket for good, we will have Test matches from the beginning of January. There will be the normal five Tests. The scheduling is just slightly different. We may revert to a Boxing Day Test next season,” the statement further added.
New Zealand will play three Twenty20 Internationals, two Tests and three One-Day Internationals before Pakistan arrive for a series of three Tests, two T20Is and five ODIs.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) have justified the move away from hosting Test matches over the Christmas period by highlighting the Proteas’ poor record in the fixture at Durban – only two wins in ten attempts – and scheduling issues, as New Zealand are only required to play two Tests as per the Future Tours Programme.
Cape Town and Port Elizabeth will host those Tests starting on 2nd and 11th January respectively. Meanwhile, Pakistan will play their Test series in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Centurion Park between 1st and 26th February.
“It should be another bumper summer for our fans,” CSA Acting CEO Jacques Faul said.
“We will be playing five Test matches, eight ODIs and five T20s at home. This will allow us to continue our policy of rotating limited overs fixtures among all our affiliates.
“This was a huge success last season when 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. These two provinces are also very strong growth areas for the game to fulfil our mandate of making cricket a truly national sport.
“New Zealand have always been tough opponents to beat while Pakistan showed in their recent series against England that they are capable of competing with and beating the best in the world.
“We have made one other important change this season with the New Zealand tour starting with three T20 International matches to be played over the Christmas period instead of the normal Test match. The Test series will now start with the New Year’s game at Sahara Park Newlands.
“The Pakistan tour will run from the end of January to the second half of March, starting with the three Test matches followed by the two limited overs segments.”
New Zealand in South Africa tour schedule
18th December: T20 tour game, Pietermaritzburg
21st December: 1st T20I, Durban
23rd December: 2nd T20I, East London
26th December: 3rd T20I, Port Elizabeth
28th-30th December: FC tour game, Port Elizabeth
2nd-6th January 2013: 1st Test, Cape Town
11th-15th January: 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth
19th January: 1st ODI, Paarl
22nd January: 2nd ODI, Kimberley
25th January: 3rd ODI, Potchefstroom
Pakistan in South Africa tour schedule
25th-28th January: FC tour game, East London
1st-5th February: 1st Test, Johannesburg
14th-18th February: 2nd Test, Cape Town
22nd-26th February: 3rd Test, Centurion
1st March: 1st T20I, Durban
3rd March: 2nd T20I, Centurion
6th March: Tour game, Kimberley
10th March: 1st ODI, Bloemfontein
15th March: 2nd ODI, Centurion
17th March: 3rd ODI, Johannesburg
21st March: 4th ODI, Durban
24th March: 5th ODI, Benoni