Fri. Dec 4th, 2020

Australia will return to South Africa for the first time since the infamous ball manipulation scandal of 2018 when a three-test streak arrives in February.

  • Australia’s final tour of South Africa resulted in three-player bans
  • South Africa will also host England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan
  • Australia’s domestic summer of cricket ends in mid-January after a four-test series against India

Cricket South Africa (SCA) announced the news on Tuesday evening and although the exact dates and venues have not yet been confirmed, the series will close in March.

Australia won the opening test in 2018 but ultimately lost the series 3-1 in four games.

The overall result, however, was overshadowed by the aftermath of the ball rigging scandal, which led to the year-long suspensions of Steve Smith and David Warner and a nine-month international ban on Cameron Bancroft.

Steve Smith was sent home early with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft the last time Australia toured South Africa.(AP: Themba Hadebe)

The Proteas will also host England in limited overs games in Sri Lanka starting late November for a New Year showdown with two tests and end their home campaign against Pakistan in three ODIs and three T20s during a busy summer of cricket in southern Africa.

“We are very pleased to announce the schedule for men’s international cricket for the home season,” said Kugandrie Govender, acting general manager of CSA.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to bring more good news to our cricket fans.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has foreseeably forced many changes to the traditional order of fixtures in South Africa this season.

“That’s why I’m particularly proud of today’s announcement.”

Australia’s cricket summer has been cut significantly short of its original schedule. A historic one-time test against Afghanistan and a limited overs series against New Zealand have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Coronavirus devastated Australia’s plans in 2021; A two-test tour of Bangladesh scheduled for June has been postponed while limited over-visits from Zimbabwe and the West Indies have also been paved.

The men’s T20 World Cup has also been postponed to 2022, though a hastily arranged limited-overs tour of England filled the void.

The Australians will eventually return to cricket this summer, welcoming India for three one-day games, three Twenty20 games and four Tests.

The short format games are expected to be played in Sydney and Canberra from November 27th to December 8th.

Adelaide will kick off the test series with a day-night encounter scheduled to begin on December 17th.

Melbourne’s Boxing Day game will be the second test, with Sydney’s test expected to begin on January 7th and the fourth test in Brisbane on January 15th.

AAP / ABC

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