Aussies to make up Sth Africa tour in 2023

CA chief Nick Hockley says relations have improved with South Africa and a tour is planned for 2023.
CA chief Nick Hockley says relations have improved with South Africa and a tour is planned for 2023.

Australia's postponed tour of South Africa will go ahead in 2023 as they prepare to add the one-off bout with Afghanistan to their list of pushed-back fixtures.

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley revealed after Thursday's annual general meeting they were closing in on new dates to tour South Africa, after this year's controversial postponement.

The series will slot into an empty space in the 2023 calendar, most likely at the end of the year given the one-day World Cup is scheduled for India in March.

The Tests would come within 12 months of South Africa's next scheduled tour of Australia, with a three-Test series set for the Boxing Day-New Year's period in 2022-23.

Hockley also claimed the relationship with Cricket South Africa was now back on good terms, after it had clearly soured on Australia's initial postponement due to COVID-19 earlier this year.

"We've been working over recent months to look to reschedule we think we found a calendar window in the calendar in 2023," Hockley said.

"Our relationship with South Africa I would say very strong.

"As we said at the time, we were very disappointed I know our players were extremely disappointed not to be able to go to South Africa.

"So we're pleased that we've been able to find a window in 2023 to reschedule that tour."

Beyond that, Australia are still to make up a two-Test series in Bangladesh that was postponed last year due to the pandemic.

White-ball games at home were also moved last year when the T20 World Cup was pushed back to 2022, and it's likely there could be additional bilateral series in the lead up to that tournament.

Meanwhile Hockley again indicated the Hobart Test against Afghanistan in November would be postponed.

CA declared last month they would not host a match against the nation if the Taliban regime did not support women's cricket following their recent takeover.

Afghanistan will however play in this month's T20 World Cup after the ICC cleared their entry, but they and Australia are in different groups and extremely unlikely to meet.

Former CA chairman Earl Eddings had sat in ICC meetings on the topic in recent weeks, but his resignation on Wednesday will leave interim replacement Richard Freudenstein to step into the next ICC meeting.

"We're working with the Australian Government and also working with the ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) on the finer details (of the Hobart Test status)," Hockley said.

"We will be looking to confirm the state of the Test match relatively imminently.

"And as it relates to discussions with the ICC, we've been in regular dialogue around our approach.

"The Test match, it certainly won't be cancelled, it's more likely it will be postponed until we've got a bit more clarity."

Australian Associated Press