South Africa will travel to Ireland for a first full limited overs tour in July, comprising three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 fixtures.
The ODIs will be staged in Malahide from July 11-16, with the same venue used for the opening game of the T20 series that runs from July 20-25, before the matches switch to Stormont for the final two fixtures.
“We are extremely pleased to have finalised the dates as quickly as we have and for that we would like to thank Cricket Ireland for their cooperation and willingness to adapt the tour schedule as we continue to finalize our winter programme,” South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith said.
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“The tour marks a significant new chapter in our history as we visit one of the fast-developing cricket nations for a six-match tour.
“Ireland have showed themselves to be highly competitive adversaries in recent years, with growing profile in the world game. It will also offer our players further international action in unfamiliar conditions, so we are looking forward to the contest.”
Warren Deutrom, chief executive of Cricket Ireland, added: “Given the significant changes to the Future Tours Programme due to the postponement of home series’ from 2020 – and all other countries having to reschedule fixtures over the period 2020-2023 – it has truly been a jigsaw puzzle for world cricket administrators to try to make the pieces fit.
“We look forward to the season ahead and thank our touring opponents for working with us on this restructured season. For our senior men, there are six World Cup Super League matches included in the schedule, in which we welcome back South Africa who last played here 14 years ago.”
South Africa have beaten Ireland in all five previous ODI clashes, including at the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Cricket World Cups. The two countries have never met in the T20 format.
Full schedule: South Africa’s tour to Ireland
- Sunday, 11 July – 1st ODI – Malahide
- Tuesday, 13 July – 2nd ODI – Malahide
- Friday, 16 July – 3rd ODI – Malahide
- Tuesday, 20 July – 1st T20 – Malahide
- Thursday, 22 July – 2nd T20 – Stormont
- Sunday, 25 July – 3rd T20 – Stormont
Smith urges ICC to ensure ‘Big Three’ face smaller nations
The announcement comes after Smith warned the International Cricket Council that smaller member nations must get their fair share of Test tours against the so-called ‘Big Three’ or face future domination of the Twenty20 leagues.
“The game needs leadership right now that understands the complexities. I don’t think world cricket wants just three nations competing against each other in 10 years’ time. How does that benefit the game?” Smith said on Monday.
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“That would amplify the [Twenty20] leagues and they will get bigger and bigger, and probably the rest of the member nations will have little or no [international] content.
“The leadership at the ICC needs to address these issues now, which are being fast-tracked because of COVID. I think they have been caught a little off-guard.”
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