South Africa CSA cricket director Graeme Smith confirmed on January 14, 2022 that they plan to reschedule Australia and England tours in 2023. Neither tour is happening due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but for different reasons.
Australia’s trip to South Africa was cancelled in February last year due to concerns over COVID-19. With more than 10,000 positive cases a day in South Africa, three test series were delayed, peaking at 21,980m, with the Delta variant going wild.
England have actually traveled to South Africa for a three-match ODI series in December 2020. But both the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the South African Cricket Board have decided to cancel the tour following the Covid outbreak in both camps. The tour is suspended in consideration of the physical and mental health and welfare of players on both teams.
Australia to visit South Africa in August 2023; England to visit in winter 2022-23
Both teams now plan to deliver on their commitments with the Australia Test series in August 2023 and England in the winter of 2022-23.
“I think England will be around February to March next year and then Australia will take over in August 2023 [Test series postponed in 2021]. This will be announced soon.
With the series lost in Covid, the challenge is that you now have eight white ball games in eight years, you’ve extended the IPL – trying to fit your calendar cycle is a huge challenge for everyone. So you need to review, you need to keep up with the times. You need to make sure we continue to put South African cricket on the map,” Smith was quoted by SuperSport.
Australia’s cancellation resulted in losses of up to R30 million ($2 million) to R40 million ($2.6 million), while England’s exit midway through a limited tour meant a loss of TV rights of $1.5 million.
Even the ongoing trip to India had to be recalibrated after the Omicron variant of the COVID virus was discovered in Gauteng. The tour was delayed by a week after the Netherlands cancelled their ODI series and flew home.
The T20I series between India and South Africa was postponed to a later date, while the series was reduced to three Tests and three ODIs. Three ODIs will be held on January 19th, 21st and 23rd.