Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Wednesday that the men’s national team will not be playing the ODI series in January 2023 against Australia.
The three ODIs, which form part of the ICC Super League matches that determine direct qualification for the 2023 Men’s World Cup, were billed to take place in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated its postponement.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Cricket Australia said: “Cricket South Africa (CSA) had asked Cricket Australia (CA) to reconsider the dates of the three matches originally set aside for January 12-17 due to a clash with their new franchise T20 league, but CA announced today they have been unable to find alternative dates to reschedule the series.”
CSA Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki said: “CSA is always keen on honouring its bilateral commitments. While CSA is committed to honouring its fixtures in respect of the Future Tours Programme there will sometimes be unforeseen circumstances that would negate this resolve. In the case of the Australia tour, CSA reached out to its counterpart months ago to reschedule the tour to mutually aggregable dates. CSA offered four options to that effect. Unfortunately, and to our disappointment, none of these were acceptable to Cricket Australia.”
“CSA has agreed that ICC award Australia the competition points. While we are saddened at losing the crucial points, we are confident that our in-form Proteas team will garner the requisite points through the remaining games to secure automatic qualification to the showpiece event in India next year,” he added.
“As difficult as this decision has been for CSA, the long-term sustainability of our new T20 League is reliant on having all our domestic players available for this exciting new addition to the CSA calendar.”
“CSA is looking forward to be hosted by Cricket Australia for an enticing blend of cricket in the three-Test series which includes the Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests in Melbourne and Sydney,” concluded Moseki.
This news puts South Africa’s hopes of direct qualification to ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 under jeopardy as it currently is in the 11th spot with 49 points in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. The top eight teams (including hosts India) will earn a direct qualification while the other five teams in the table will have to play a World Cup Qualifier.