Friday, 19 August
The need for Cricket South Africa (CSA) to get its revenue-generating franchise T20 League off the ground early next year becomes abundantly clear following the ICC’s release of the new Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the period 2023 to 2027.
Despite the world governing body’s gleeful proclamation that there will be more international matches being played over the coming four years, it fails to contextualise that an increased number of bilateral battles doesn’t equal increased financial rewards.
In fact, the ICC’s highlighting of the Border-Gavaskar trophy being contested twice in the next World Test Championship (WTC) cycle says everything you need to know about the imbalances plaguing the international game.
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“A fiercely contested clash in recent times, Australia are set to welcome India for a five-match series in the 2023-25 cycle of the WTC while a reciprocal tour is set to be played in the 2025-27 cycle,” it said.
“It will be the first time in over 30 years that the two sides will clash in a five-match Test series, the last time being 1992.”
While these two heavyweights roll in the money they’ll make from those tours, the rest are left with scraps, South Africa included.
The Proteas can look forward to an early visit from India – the only team that generates a profit for CSA when hosting a tour – who are slated to play two Tests, three ODIs and three T20s in December 2023 and January 2024.
However, that tour falls slap-bang in the window the local federation has earmarked for its T20 League, leaving decision-makers in a bit of a pickle as to what series to prioritise though having the Indians in town guarantees a significant windfall.
During the 2025-27 WTC cycle, the South Africans will host Australia (October to November 2026) and England (December 2026 to February 2027) for Test tours, but even these assignments haven’t been generating profit.
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One notably interesting development is the plan for the Proteas to be involved in a triangular tournament in Pakistan along with New Zealand in February 2025, shortly before the commencement of the Champions Trophy in that country.
“The landscape around the game is continuing to evolve and we will work closely with Members as we collectively adapt to that. We are committed to growing the game and giving more fans more opportunities to enjoy cricket, but are very mindful of the need to balance that ambition with the welfare of players,” said Wasim Khan, the ICC’s general manager of cricket.
The Sport Report – Weekly
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