South Africa have replaced their traditional Boxing Day Test with a Twenty20 international for the 2012-13 home season, during which they will host New Zealand and Pakistan. The home summer will begin the week before Christmas, with New Zealand playing three Twenty20s, two Tests and three ODIs through January, after which Pakistan will tour for a full series in February and March.
South Africa's home summer schedule
- New Zealand in South Africa 2012-13:
- Dec 21-26 - three Twenty20s
- Jan 2-15 - two Tests
- Jan 19-25 - three ODIs
- Pakistan in South Africa 2012-13:
- Feb 1-26 - three Tests
- March 1-3 - two Twenty20s
- March 10-24 - five ODIs
South Africa will play a Twenty20 against New Zealand in Port Elizabeth on December 26, and the New Year's Test in Cape Town beginning on January 2.
"We have made one other important change this season with the New Zealand tour starting with three Twenty20 International matches to be played over the Christmas period, instead of the normal Test match," Cricket South Africa's acting chief executive, Jacques Faul, said. "It should be another bumper summer for our fans, [with] five Test matches, eight ODIs and five Twenty20s at home.
"This will allow us to continue our policy of rotating limited-overs fixtures among all our affiliates. That was a huge success last season - East London and Paarl, who had been off the international roster for some time, attracted more than 25,000 spectators for the two ODIs [against Sri Lanka] that they hosted. These two provinces are very strong growth areas for the game, [and help] fulfil our mandate of making cricket a truly national sport."
South Africa had toured New Zealand in February-March 2012, winning the three-Test series 1-0 and sweeping the ODIs 3-0. New Zealand registered their only win of the tour in the Twenty20s, but South Africa claimed that series as well, 2-1.
The previous bilateral series between Pakistan and South Africa was in 2010-11, in the UAE; then the Tests had been drawn 0-0, and South Africa had won in both limited-overs formats.
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