South Africa, better known as the “Proteas,” are all set to participate in the enormous 72-day long tour of India, for the first time.
Having played only two-Test or three-Test series so far, this will mark only the second time that these two teams will participate in a four Test series. The first time they participated was way back in 1992-1993 when the Mohammad Azharuddin-led India lost the series in Proteas’ home soil.
The 72-day long tour will not only involve four Tests, but also five ODIs and three T20 internationals, along with two tour matches.
The tour will commence from September 29 in Delhi, in the form of a tour game before the first T20 international match kick starts in October 2 in Dharamsala.
BCCI declared the Dharamsala, Mohali and Kolkata to be the venues for the T20s, Chennai, Rajkot, Indore, Kanpur and Mumbai to be the venues of the ODIs and Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Delhi and Bangalore to be the venues of the Test matches.
According to media reports, Haroon Lorgat who is the Chief Executive of Cricket South Africa said to media, “I am delighted to confirm, together with the BCCI, the Proteas’ itinerary for our tour of India later this year.”
He further said that both India and South Africa “are now working to develop this into an icon series,” adding that besides, touring India for the longest tour for the first time they will also play their very first T20 international against Team Blue in the latter’s home soil.
He added, “Of note will be second Test match to be played in Bangalore where the Castle Lager Proteas previously secured our only ever Test Series win over India in India in 2000.”
The series will also mark the 100th Test match for AB de Villier’s and Lorgat said Bangalore couldn’t be any more perfect venue because “it has become AB’s second home through his involvement with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.”
Lorgat thanked BBCI for the latter’s efforts to schedule such a long tour, and added that this tour being a “landmark” one in the “young history of Cricket South Africa,” he now looks ahead to see the Test series turning into “an iconic one”.
South Africa is currently ranked number one in the ICC Test rankings, four places ahead of India. However, Team Blue is ahead of them in both the ICC ODI and T20 rankings at 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively.