India to play two Tests on all-format tour of South Africa in 2023-24


South Africa will begin their 2023-2025 World Test Championship cycle with a two-Test series against India at home later this year. The Tests will take place over the traditional Boxing Day and New Year period, at SuperSport Park and Newlands respectively. The New Year’s Test returns to Cape Town after a four-year absence following the Covid-19 pandemic and South Africa playing in Australia over last year’s festive season.

The Tests will be South Africa’s first since beating West Indies 2-0 at home in March this year, and the second of India’s WTC campaign, following their ongoing matches in the West Indies. The Tests will come at the end of a tour that will begin with three T20Is, and will also include three ODIs.

The last time India travelled to South Africa to play Test cricket was in the previous WTC cycle, from late December 2021 to early January 2022. India won the first Test in Centurion by 113 runs, but lost the next two, in Johannesburg and in Cape Town, by identical margins of seven wickets. That, however, didn’t prevent India from making the WTC final, where they lost to Australia. South Africa, meanwhile, finished third on the table, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the final.

South Africa’s big five venues – Kingsmead, St George’s Park, the Wanderers, SuperSport Park and Newlands – along with Paarl’s Boland Park will all get a taste of the action but there are no matches planned in the country’s central region, which includes Bloemfontein and Kimberley. Durban, where a significant proportion of the Indian diaspora in South Africa is based, will only host one match, the first T20I.

“This is an important tour for both teams and I am really pleased that we will have a full tour comprising all three formats of the game,” Lawson Naidoo, CSA chair, said in a statement. “The tour also allows us to showcase the best of South Africa and we have spread out matches across the nation.”

“The Boxing Day Test and the New Year Test are amongst the most important fixtures on the international cricket calendar and the schedule has been planned particularly around these marquee dates,” Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, said.

The India series will be the only men’s international cricket played in South Africa in the 2023-24 summer – South Africa host Australia for three T20Is and five ODIs in August-September – and will be followed immediately by the SA20. In mid-February, South Africa are due to travel to New Zealand for two Tests before a mid-year series in the Caribbean. South Africa will only play two-Test series for the duration of the 2023-2025 WTC cycle, with their next three Test series set for October 2026, when they host Australia.

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