“We’ve Collaborated And Agreed Dates With South Africa, Who Have Confirmed The Tour”- New Zealand Not Open To Negotiations Test Series Dates
Jul 20, 2023 at 1:56 PM
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is not open to negotiating the dates of the two-Test series against South Africa scheduled for February next year, despite CSA’s hopes that the matches could be moved to avoid a player availability crunch with the SA20.
The Test matches, which are scheduled to take place between February 4 and February 17, 2024, call for South Africa to arrive in late January, but this will conflict with the conclusion of the SA20. The CSA had hoped to consider a rescheduling, but the NZC believes that the fixtures are established, in accordance with the FTP.
“These Tests have been part of the FTP since it was announced two years ago. We’ve collaborated and agreed dates with CSA, who have confirmed the tour, acknowledged the arrangements and have been in receipt of the schedule for several week,” Richard Boock, NZC’s manager of public affairs, told ESPNCricinfo.
The series in New Zealand will be South Africa’s second engagement of the 2023-2025 World Test Championship cycle, during which they will only play series of two Test matches.
“Flights Have Been Confirmed, Dates For The Practice Game Have Been Agreed”- Richard Boock, NZC’s Manager
South Africa’s fixtures cannot be adjusted by New Zealand to any other period during a home season that also features a trip from Australia, whose series must conclude by late March before the IPL 2024 starts.
“Flights have been confirmed, dates for the practice game have been agreed, and we’re looking forward to the squad’s arrival. The Proteas are a popular and formidable Test team and we view them as an important part of our home summer schedule,” Richard Boock, added.
This means a large chunk of South Africa’s first-choice players may be needed for the SA20, forcing them to field a possibly second-string Test team.
Even though the centrally contracted players of South Africa are obligated to both the national team and the SA20, the CSA has promised the SA20 first rights to the players over the January window, so the players will be forced to represent their franchises rather than the national side.
An SA20 mini-auction will take place in September which could see more players snapped up for the league and will also give CSA a clearer idea of who can make the trip to New Zealand.
On Wednesday, CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki told ESPNcricinfo the organization was mindful of their bilateral obligations, while also stressing that the SA20 takes first priority.