Johannesburg: South Africa will be aiming to match the class of 2008 when they play England and Australia away from home in the ICC Test Championship in 2012 in what amounts to back-to-back series.
In 2008 the Proteas beat both their rivals away from home. It was the first time any South African side had ever won a Test series in Australia and it was also the first away victory over England under the banner of Cricket South Africa (CSA).
The Proteas will play England in 3 Test matches between July and September in their first assignment of the new Future Tours’ Programme (FTP) covering the period from 2012 to 2020 that was approved at this week’s Executive Board meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
One of the features of the FTP is that the month of October each year is being kept free from international commitments to accommodate the highly successful Champions’ League Twenty20 (CLT20) that brings together the domestic T20 champions from around the world.
The CLT20, which is bound to involve several members of the Proteas’ Test squad, and the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, provide the only break between the end of the England tour and the start of the Australian tour which runs from November to the middle of December and consists of 3 Test matches.
There are a couple of bumper seasons coming up for the Proteas’ home fans with both India (3 Tests, 7 ODIs and 2 T20s) and Australia (3 Tests and 3 T20s) touring South Africa during the summer of 2013-14 and then England (4 Tests, 5 ODIs and 1 or 2 T20s) and Australia (5 ODIs and 3 T20s) the visitors in 2015-16.
“There is much for our loyal fans to look forward to in terms of international competition for the foreseeable future,” commented CSA CEO Gerald Majola. “The Test series in 2012 are going to be vital (in addition to the away tours to England and Australia the Proteas are at home to New Zealand and Pakistan) in the lead-up to the inaugural play-offs for the ICC World Test Championship to be decided in England in May and June, 2013.
“We are also splitting up our future home and away tours against Australia into separate Test match and ODI engagements. This effectively means that we will play Australia every summer, either home or away, over a four-year period.”