Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Tuesday declined to play three ODIs in January next, scheduled in Australia as part of their multi-format tour. With the CSA set to launch a new domestic T20 competition, they have refused to allow players to remain Down Under following the Sydney Test.
The Proteas will tour Australia for a blockbuster season, initially scheduled for three Tests and three ODIs. The tour is slated to begin on 17 December and conclude precisely a month later; however, the 50-over games look canceled if they cannot be rescheduled.
Cricket Australia's (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley revealed that its South African counterpart has asked them to reconsider the dates, but they have failed to find a window to accommodate them.
"Whilst the timing of the ODI series against South Africa is set out in the future tours program, we have had a recent request from Cricket South Africa to reconsider the dates of the three games, but have been unable to find alternative dates as yet," Hockley said, as quoted by WAtoday, while announcing the schedule.
This is Cricket South Africa's third attempt at starting a franchise-based T20 tournament, following the failures of the Mzansi Super League and the Global League T20. Despite the government's investment of over $US30 million, both competitions were unable to get off the ground on either side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia and South Africa face a tricky task to qualify for the 2023 World Cup
With the ODI series unlikely to take place, the two boards will have to find a window to get it underway to gain points for ODI World Cup qualification. The Proteas, who are placed 11th in the points table, must finish in the top eight to earn a berth in the mega event, while Australia are sixth and need to consolidate their spot.
With the cancellation of the ODI series, CA can ensure the availability of top players for the forthcoming edition of the Big Bash League (BBL). Currently, the likes of Pat Cummins, David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood have no BBL deals.
The 50-over games would have ruled Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Josh Inglis and Aaron Finch out of the tournament for at least a week.