Why South Africa to send a second-string squad for Test series against New Zealand? Here is the Reason
South Africa will send an understrength squad to New Zealand for two World Test Championship matches in February, following the release of the schedule for its local SA20 franchise competition on Tuesday.
Cricket South Africa CEO Pholetsi Moseki confirmed to AFP on Tuesday that no players committed to the six SA20 franchises would travel to New Zealand.
The SA20 will be held from January 10 to February 10, overlapping with the Tests, which will be held from February 4 to February 13.
This decision was taken owing to a schedule issue with the SA20 2024 franchise competition in South Africa.
The two-Test series is set to begin on February 4, 2024, and will overlap with the final stages of the SA20, which begins on January 10, 2024, and concludes on February 10, 2024.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) requested that the Test series be rescheduled, but New Zealand Cricket declined the request. As a result, SA20 league players are unlikely to be available for selection for the Test series against New Zealand.
Due to time zones, players would need at least a week to acclimatise in New Zealand, making it hard for some SA20 players to join the team for at least the second Test, according to CSA Chief Executive Pholetsi Moseki.
This isn't the first time there have been scheduling difficulties. During the inaugural SA20, South Africa chose to forego a three-match ODI series against Australia in order to kick off the SA20 on home soil.
This decision cost South Africa major points in the ODI World Cup Super League.
Despite these obstacles, the Proteas remain optimistic about securing a win in New Zealand and earning valuable World Test Championship (WTC) points in the ongoing 2023-25 season. The previous Test series between these two teams finished in a 1-1 tie.