Two giants in the test cricket world will meet in December 2013, as India will tour South Africa for three Tests, seven ODIs and two Twenty20s beginning in December this year and extending to early 2014.
Some sort of consensus between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) has been reached over the number of matches to be played during India’s two-month tour. India will also play seven ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals during their African sojourn.
This puts to rest speculation over the number of Tests during the series. Originally, there was a proposal for four Test matches and CSA wanted to have one more five-day game at the expense of a few ODIs. In the end, however, the two boards sealed the deal for three Tests.
Both teams will be short on Test cricket before the meeting. South Africa last played the format in February and will only meet Pakistan for two matches in the UAE before hosting India while their opposition will not play a single Test between now and then. India whitewashed Australia at home in March but have only fifty-over engagements until they fly to South Africa.
India’s tour forms part of a bumper summer for South Africa. They also host Australia for three Tests in February-March 2014. Both series are among the more lucrative incoming tours with only England being the other team to bring in sizeable profits from television rights.
But there is some good news for fans of the longest format. The traditional Boxing Day Test will return to Durban after it was cancelled previous season because Cricket South Africa opted to play three festive T20s instead.