India to play three T20Is against South Africa in August
NEW DELHI: South Africa will host India in a three-match T20I series at the end of August. This was first discussed by Cricket South Africa (CSA) director of cricket Graeme Smith and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly in February this year.
The tour is not part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP) and is subject to clearance from both countries’ respective governments towards the end of August due to the uncertainty regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have been talking to them and the commitment is there to get the three T20s done,” Smith said at a news conference on Thursday.
“There is an element of guesswork, no-one knows what things will be like at the end of August. But we believe we are a socially-distanced sport and that we can play behind closed doors.”
The South African board are keen to ensure the series goes ahead due to financial issues. They are expecting to operate in losses of approximately $36 million over the next four-year period, with the South African Cricketers Association believing the figure is closer to $56 million approx.
A series against India would generate significant revenue and would go some way towards ensuring the financial stability of the board, especially since the coronavirus is also expected to hit their finances.
The proposed series would also have an impact other series for South Africa. Currently they are set to play two Tests and five T20Is from mid-July against West Indies but that will most likely have to be postponed.
“We are working with the West Indies board to try and find a window, post their tour of England, which would shift our dates,” Smith said.
India last toured South Africa in the beginning of 2018 and the full series consisted of three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is.
The visitors lost the Test series 1-2 but they were in fine form during the white-ball leg of the tour as they went on to register a resounding 5-1 win in the ODI series and a 2-1 win in the T20I series.
The return tour took place last year when South Africa came to India for a three-T20I series last October, where they lost 2-1.
The two teams were scheduled to play a three-ODI series in February 2020. The first match of the series was washed out and the remainder of the series had to be called off due to the Covid-19 situation worsening in India. – PTI