Cricket South Africa have pulled out all the stops to ensure the Proteas one-day team are battle-ready for the World Cup in Australasia next year.
South Africa will play a minimum of 23 warm-up one-day internationals against five different countries over the next 12 months.
“With it being a World Cup year in 2015, we have placed a lot of emphasis on the 50-over format and have tried to maximise our preparations by playing as many matches as possible in conditions that will be similar to those in New Zealand and Australia,” coach Russell Domingo said yesterday.
Domingo’s team will play a three-match ODI series in New Zealand in October, and then take on Australia away in three Twenty20 internationals and five ODIs in November.
“I’m particularly pleased that we have managed fit in a tour to New Zealand ahead of our two limited-overs series against Australia, and hopefully playing at the prospective World Cup venues will play to our advantage during the tournament.
“This bumper ODI schedule will allow us to finalise our group as quickly as possible and to start playing around with strategies and gameplans,” Domingo added.
This is in addition to fulfilling a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka postponed from last year that will also include three ODIs in July. South Africa will then return to face neighbours Zimbabwe in August followed by a tiangular ODI series also involving Australia.
There is also a bumper home summer expected, with the West Indies set to tour South Africa. Port Elizabeth has been rewarded with the Boxing Day Test, while the annual New Year Test returns to Newlands after a year-long absence.
“Once we have completed our challenge for the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next month, we will turn much of our attention to next year’s World Cup,” commented CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat, “Building quality experience is a vital part of preparing our ODI squad for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The series of ODI matches we will be playing in these two countries will provide valuable experience for the players as they prepare for the conditions expected during the World Cup.
“At the same time we would want to respect the primacy of Test match cricket. The Test Series against the West Indies will be the highlight of our home summer. With the traditional New Year Test match at Newlands and a Boxing Day encounter at St. George’s, fans will be in for a treat as we continue to defend our No 1 status.”
WEST INDIES TOUR TO SOUTH AFRICA
10-12 December: Three-day warm-up match v SA Invitation XI, Sahara Willowmoore Park
17-21 December: 1st Test match, SuperSport Park
26-30 December: 2nd Test match, Axxess St. George’s
2-6 January: 3rd Test match, Newlands
9 January: 1st T20 International (D/N), Newlands
11 January: 2nd T20 International (D/N), Wanderers Stadium
16 January: 1st ODI (D/N), Kingsmead
18 January: 2nd ODI (Day), Wanderers Stadium
21 January: 3rd ODI (D/N), Buffalo Park
25 January: 4th ODI (Day), St. George’s
28 January: 5th ODI (D/N), SuperSport Park - Cape Times