It’s confirmed! South Africa’s lack of Test cricket following the cancellation of the Australian tour will be alleviated somewhat by the confirmation that the Proteas will play two Tests against the West Indies in the Caribbean in June.
The tour will also include five T20 internationals, it being a World Cup year in that format.
The tour was originally scheduled for last July but became a casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic. South Africa have played just seven Tests since the start of 2020 and Australia’s decision to pull out of their tour, in which three Tests were meant to be played, at the 11th hour was a huge blow both to the rebuilding efforts of the Proteas and the coffers of Cricket South Africa.
Cricket West Indies announced the tour on Thursday night as part of their statement confirming SuperSport as their new broadcast partners for sub-Saharan Africa, and CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith confirmed the news on Friday morning.
“We’re pretty much there in terms of confirming the details, we still need to sort out the venues, but there will be two Tests and five T20s,” Smith told The Citizen on Friday.
“We still need to sort out the Covid details as well and we have all that coming up next week once we are through our T20 Challenge.”
Sri Lanka have arrived in the West Indies for three T20s, three ODIs and two Tests ending on April 2, and have taken up tenancy in Antigua, where all the games will be played. They were meant to play in St Lucia as well but arrived late due to positive Covid cases, including one for their South Africa-born coach Mickey Arthur.
The Proteas will be hoping for a couple of biosecure bubbles and a change in (beautiful) scenery during their tour, but they will be grateful just to be playing again. Their only other confirmed international cricket this year is the white-ball series they are hosting against Pakistan in April.