The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed the schedule for India’s tour of South Africa.
India will be playing three T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches against South Africa beginning on December 10 with the 20-over games starting the tour. This will be the first international assignment scheduled for India after the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023.
The series, which is named “Freedom Series”, is of great significance to underline the common struggle of both nations against colonial rule and is a tribute to the great freedom fighters Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. BCCI Secretary Jay Shah echoed the same sentiment, also suggesting that this is a great opportunity to showcase the best of South Africa.
“The tour also allows us to showcase the best of South Africa and we have spread out matches across the nation. We share an excellent rapport with the BCCI and I thank them for their support throughout the process of putting the tour in place,” Jay Shah said.
India are scheduled to face the Proteas in the World Cup this year on May 5 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. It will be interesting to see how the teams shape up in the ODIs right after the World Cup, with Johannesburg, Paarl and Gqeberha hosting the three 50-over matches.
The two Tests will be among the four away World Test Championship series that India will play in the upcoming cycle. India currently are facing West Indies in the Caribbean Islands, getting off to a strong start in their bid to reach the WTC final three times in a row. The traditional Boxing Day Test, on December 26, will take place this time at the Supersport Park, Centurion, followed by the second Test in Cape Town.
“The Boxing Day Test and the New Year’s Test are amongst the most important fixtures on the international cricket calendar and the schedule has been planned particularly around these marquee dates. India has always received strong support in South Africa, and I am confident that fans will be treated to some enthralling contests with no shortage of intensity,” Shah added.
The T20Is will also begin India’s preparation for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will take place in June 2024. West Indies and the USA will be hosting the mega event and with a lot of uncertainties over how the squad will shape up after a disastrous semifinal result in the last T20 World Cup, this will be a big opportunity for the side to recoup some of the damage. Durban, Gqeberha and Johannesburg will host the twenty-over games.
There may be quite a few senior players who might not feature in the T20 or ODI setup after the upcoming World Cup, giving a whole new outlook to the Indian side. Hardik Pandya is expected to lead the T20I side, but uncertainty remains over the future of Rohit Sharma, who could give up on the 50-over format after the World Cup.
Schedule for 2023/24 India tour of South Africa
T20I series schedule:
1st T20I: Sunday, 10 December – Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium, Durban
2nd T20I: Tuesday, 12 December – St George’s Park, Gqeberha
3rd T20I: Thursday, 14 December – DP World Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
ODI series schedule:
1st ODI: Sunday, 17 December – Betway Pink Day – DP World Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
2nd ODI: Tuesday, 19 December – St George’s Park, Gqeberha
3rd ODI: Thursday, 21 December – Boland Park, Paarl
Test series schedule:
1st Test: 26 December – 30 December – SuperSport Park, Centurion
2nd Test: 03 January – 07 January – Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town