International cricket is back for the Proteas after Cricket South Africa on Wednesday received permission from the Ministry of Sports, Art and Culture to proceed with the limited-overs tour between the Proteas and ICC World Cup champions, England.
The tournament will consist of three T20 Internationals and three one-day international matches from 27 November to 9 December 2020.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, England will arrive in mid-November.
The tour will be limited to the Western Cape, with two ODI matches and two T20 matches to be played at Newlands Stadium, and one ODI and one T20 match at Boland Park, Paarl.
A detailed fixture list will be announced at a later stage.
“This is a wonderful boost for cricket,” commented CSA Acting Chief Executive Kugandrie Govender, “and, although all the matches will have to be played behind closed doors, I am sure that our Proteas fans will rally behind South Africa’s favourite team as they always do, but just on alternative digital and social media platforms.
“The fact that England are the current World Cup champions will add tremendously to the two series and will give our own players every motivation to perform at their very best to challenge the reigning champions.”
Govender added that the match would not have been possible if it were not for the assistance and support of the South African government.
“I would like to express CSA’s sincere gratitude to the Departments of Sport, Arts & Culture; Home Affairs; and Health, for the support they have given us to make this return to international cricket in our country a reality, while maintaining that health and safety for all remains the number one priority,” added Govender.
Cricket South Africa is also very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the support they have given in many areas and will be able to draw on their own experiences which will help in organising and running international cricket under bio-secure conditions.
“This is a first for us and we commit to learn quickly and with great responsiveness as we have an action-packed international season ahead of us,” continued Govender.
In their own media statement, Tom Harrison, ECB’s chief executive officer said: “We are looking forward to touring South Africa. I would like to personally thank Cricket South Africa for their efforts in ensuring this tour goes ahead and their diligent work to create an environment that is safe for our players and staff. They are working tirelessly to pull together a bio-secure plan in Cape Town and Paarl.
“We owe it to the sport that we do everything we can to keep international competition progressing during this pandemic.
“Series against the Proteas are always exciting and intense. We saw that earlier this year in South Africa and we can expect the same this time around.”
Govender concluded: “While CSA, in partnership with government, has been working really hard to secure the Series, we are thrilled that the tournament will reignite our international cricket season and after the tough year South Africa and the world has experienced, we look forward to bringing cricket joy to our fans, players, and stakeholders.
“These exciting developments also coincide with CSA’s return to office next week, which we are thrilled about,” concluded Govender.