BCCI Says No To Iconic Boxing Day Test Against South Africa

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
| August 21 , 2017 , 16:16 IST

The marquee Boxing-Day Test between South Africa and India will not be played later this year. At the same time, the New Year's Test in Cape Town is also in danger. The Boxing Day Test which starts on 26 December is the highlight of South Africa's international series at home while Cape Town usually hosts the second Test of the summer from January 2

The iconic Boxing Day Test will not be played because Team India will land in South Africa in the last week of 2017 and sought at least a week to prepare themselves for the series before the grueling series which is comprised of four Tests, five ODIs and Twenty 20 internationals respectively.

Just after India's nine wickets victory over Sri Lanka in the first ODI, BCCI released a press statement that Indian players can't reach South Africa for the Boxing Day Test which starts on 26 December because their home series against Sri Lanka will get over on 24 December.

"We can't make it make it in time. The Sri Lanka tour ends on December 24. After that we need to give the boys a few days' rest," the board official told ESPNcricinfo.

 "The South Africa tour is a big one, so they need to play two warm-up games, so it will take at least 10 days [before the first Test]," BCCI further said.

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BCCI has already informed the Cricket South Africa that Team India will not be able to play the Boxing Day Test. CSA accepted BCCI's proposal for a new schedule for the marquee 'Friendship Series'.

With India expressed their inability to play the Boxing Day Test, CSA  to approach either Pakistan or Afghanistan for the iconic Boxing Day Test, but nothing is certain at this moment.  

Tony Irish, the head of the South African Players Association, however, expressed his concern over the series. He said if the Newlands Test failed to start on January 2 or 3, it would be a 'major blow' for the CSA because the match coincides with holiday season.  

"I had been aware of the fact that they were unlikely to be there for Boxing Day, but for them not to be here for the New Year's Day is a major blow to CSA and the fans," Irish said. "To lose Boxing Day is a big thing, but to lose both of them would be massive hit for the fans," Irish further added.

The South Africa tour will also commence India's tough test on overseas conditions following the fabulous home series victories against New Zealand, England, Australia and Bangladesh at home in 2016-2017 and away series victory in West Indies and Sri Lanka.

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The South Africa tour will be a tough test for India and they have to save their prestige on overseas conditions otherwise they will have to face barrage of criticism for failing at bouncy and seaming pitches.