Reports: India’s tour of South Africa to get underway on December 26 with Boxing Day Test

Reports: India’s tour of South Africa to get underway on December 26 with Boxing Day Test

A discussion between BCCI and CSA caused a change in schedule

South Africa v Sri Lanka
South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

There has been a lot of hullabaloo over the fate of India’s upcoming tour of South Africa due to the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in the rainbow nation.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the variant Omicron, which has been spreading rapidly in various African countries. The same has forced the South African government to impose a travel ban.

Meanwhile, India were initially scheduled to travel South Africa for a full-fledged tour – including three Tests, as many ODIs, and four T20I matches, starting from December 17. However, a discussion between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) caused a change in schedule. While the dates have been changed, the four-match T20I series has been postponed.

The first Test is likely to take place in Centurion

As per a report in ESPNcricinfo, the first Test will get underway on December 26 and not on December 17. While the venues of the revised series are yet to be finalized, the opening game, which is a Boxing Day Test match, is set to take place at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. The second Test will kick-start at January 3 in Johannesburg and the third from January 11 or 12 in Cape Town, which will also host all three ODIs.

These venues were selected even before the new variant came in the picture. While CSA has stuck to the same venues, the full schedule hasn’t been finalized yet.  The second Test might take place at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg due to the logistical and operational convenience.

Earlier, BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed that the revised tour comprises three Tests and as many ODIs, while the T20Is will be played later. “BCCI has confirmed CSA that the Indian team will travel for three Tests and three ODIs. The remaining four T20Is will be played at a later date,” Shah was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. Meanwhile, South Africa haven’t done too well in the longest format lately. Hence, it would be interesting to see how they’ll tackle the formidable Indian side.