The New Year Test at Newlands has always been a popular event. Picture: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
The New Year Test at Newlands has always been a popular event. Picture: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

No New Year’s Test ... but Newlands may host Aussies in March

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Oct 27, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – Western Province Cricket Association president Ashraf Burns says Newlands has been given assurances the relocation of the New Year’s Test for the 2020/21 season is a “once-off”.

Cricket South Africa released its international fixtures for the festive season on Tuesday with Sri Lanka set to play the Boxing Day at SuperSport Park in Centurion followed by the New Year Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg due to Covid-19 protocols.

It will be the first time the New Year Test is staged on the Highveld since the Proteas returned from isolation in 1991.

“Covid-19 has had a major impact on all aspects of our lives and cricket scheduling is part and parcel of it,” Burns told IOL Sport.

“WPCA completely understands the reasoning for the New Year Test to be staged in Johannesburg just a few days after the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.

“It will limit movement and travelling and that is 100% the right thing to do. WPCA has been assured that the Wanderers hosting the New Year this season is simply a once-off due to Covid-19 protocols and that it will be back at Newlands when things return to normal.”

Newlands will, though, host England for the two T20I’s and two ODIs in a bio-bubble secure environment next month. England will also play one T20I and one ODI in Paarl after Cricket SA opted for the Western Cape as the preferred destination for the Proteas’ first bio-bubble under Covid-19 regulations.

The limited-overs series will mark the Proteas’ return to competition action since their tour to India in March was cut short due to the novel coronavirus.

IOL Sport also understands Newlands will host one of the three Test matches against Australia in March.

It will be the first time the Aussies visit South Africa for a Test series since the 2018 Sandpapergate ball-tampering scandal.The fixtures are yet to be finalised for the Australian series.

@ZaahierAdams

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