Former captain Graeme Smith has backed Cricket South Africa's (CSA) decision to pull out of the three-match ODI series against Australia in favor of the new T20 league.
The Proteas were scheduled to tour Australia in January, but with the dates clashing with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) T20 League, they opted to concede the ODI World Cup Super League points.
South Africa currently lie 11th in the points table, with only the top eight teams getting direct qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. The South African board requested Cricket Australia to reschedule the series, but the request was denied.
Claiming that South Africa could not afford to play away from home during the festive period, Smith said in an interview with the Times Of India:
"Unless you're at home, you don't get the revenues. It's the home games that provide those revenues. The decision was taken in the best interests of our league. We offered a number of solutions for it, which didn't work for Cricket Australia."
South Africa missed a chance to climb up the standings following a 1-1 series draw against England last month. The Proteas are next scheduled to play ODIs against India ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup.
"For South Africa to be out of South Africa during the prime time of the year is a massive thing" - Graeme Smith
The Boxing Day Test not only holds tradition in cricket's folklore, it brings in a jam-packed crowd. The scheduling also ensures a competitive opponent during that time-frame.
For instance, the 2021 Boxing Day Test involved high-octane fixtures like South Africa vs India and Australia vs England.
Reiterating the stance surrounding revenue during the festive period at home, Smith added:
"Firstly, for South Africa to be out of South Africa during the prime time of the year is a massive thing. Because, commercially, that's our prime time of the year in South Africa, the fans are on holiday, revenues are at their highest for CSA. "
So, for them to be in Australia during Boxing Day and New Year is something incredible."
Australia and South Africa are still scheduled to play a three-match Test series as part of the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) after the end of the T20 World Cup.
The first Test will be played at the Gabba on December 17, followed by the Boxing Day Test at the MCG from 26 and the final Test at Sydney.
Were South Africa right by forfeiting the ODI series against Australia? Let us know what you think.
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