Smith confirms plans for the Proteas to honour tour to the West Indies next month

06 May 2021 - 13:04
By Mahlatse Mphahlele, mahlatse mphahlele AND Mahlatse Mphahlele
Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith says the Proteas will tour India later this year.
Image: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith says the Proteas will tour India later this year.

Cricket South Africa's (CSA) director of cricket‚ Graeme Smith‚ says plans are at an advanced stage to ensure that the Proteas honour their outgoing tour to the West Indies next month.

The Proteas are scheduled to play two Tests and five T20s in the Caribbean‚ and Smith said they are in the process of finalising venues and other related logistics for the trip.

“We haven’t given an update or an announcement on that tour because we are just finalising the final arrangements‚” said Smith as he gave an update on the scheduling programme for the Proteas for the rest of the year.

“With Covid-19‚ things always remain fairly fluid but we are in the process of finalising venues in the West Indies.

"The commitment is to go there.

"We have two Tests and five T20s starting at the beginning of June and that is just around the corner.

"I think the men’s team will go into a training camp end of May in the build up to a tour that starts with the Tests and finishes with the T20s.”

After the trip to the West Indies‚ the Proteas then travel to Ireland where Mark Boucher’s men are scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20Is from July 11 to 25 in Malahide and Stormont.

“With these Covid-19 restrictions and the red list‚ the T20 squad that will be in the West Indies will go directly to Ireland.

"We will finish the five T20s in the West Indies and whoever is involved with that squad will fly directly to Ireland because it is impossible to get any new players to Ireland with all these quarantines and red lists.”

In what is expected to be a busy period‚ the Proteas will rest in August but get back into the swing of things with a tour against Sri Lanka.

This will be followed by the Twenty Cricket World Cup in India in October and November.

“We will have a small break in August but in September we are scheduled to play against Sri Lanka for a white ball tour‚ and then it is obviously the World Cup.”

Smith also gave an update on the proposed tour of India in September that is now threatened by the possibility that the suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) may resume at the time.

“I think obviously with what has happened in the IPL and in India with Covid-19‚ we just need to give the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) time to regroup and gather their thoughts.

"We are with them during this challenging time as a country and we don’t want to apply pressure on them at this stage to find solutions.

"But at the same time we haven’t received any correspondence from them that things are going to look different at this point.”

With regards to Australia‚ who abandoned their tour to the country earlier in the year‚ Smith said they are in negotiations to find an opening in the schedule during the current cycle.

“We have had a few intense discussions with them and we have made it very clear that we want to replace the series in this current cycle.

"It becomes a scheduling issue and it has been a little bit back and forth on that‚ but I am hoping that we are relatively close to closing it in this cycle.

"It is ongoing in the background and we have had a number of discussions with their chief executive and their ops team on rescheduling.”