Enoch Nkwe. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
- The Proteas could play more Test cricket in 2023 during the winter months.
- Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe said negotiations are taking place with two countries.
- As it stands, the Proteas are only scheduled to play Test cricket again in December.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) is talking to two countries over the possibility of securing more Test cricket for the Proteas in 2023.
The next confirmed Test assignment for the national side is a home series against India in December/January, resulting in a total of just four Test matches being played this year.
That scheduling has not gone down well with South African cricket purists, and while options are limited given the packed Future Tours Programme (FTP), Director of Cricket (DoC) Enoch Nkwe says a winter Test series is on the cards.
Nkwe would not reveal which countries South Africa had approached, but he hopes negotiations will result in an added Test window for coach Shukri Conrad and his charges.
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The Proteas beat West Indies 2-0 in their recently-completed series in Conrad’s first outing as Test coach, and as things stand, he would have to wait 10 months before his second.
“We’re looking at a couple of options,” Nkwe told News24.
“We are talking to two countries for Test series over the winter period, and hopefully once something is confirmed we can announce it. If we can’t get it over the line, we’ll resort to ‘A’ matches.
“We are looking at one or two other countries to find a small gap to squeeze in two or three Tests. Some countries are quite keen – it’s just how we fit it into the approved FTP. There is appetite, which is exciting.”
Now fully into his work as DoC, Nkwe is passionate about South Africa’s red-ball development and has committed to creating opportunities for players even if CSA can’t land any more Tests.
“There are still opportunities at a South Africa ‘A’ level, which would help strengthen the base for our red-ball cricket,” he said.
“As much as the next few months are not looking too great, you’ve got to look at the positive side of it and the opportunity to grow the pool of red-ball cricketers, whether it’s an ‘A’ tour, internal matches or ‘North’ v ‘South’ so that by the time we get to next year, when we start playing more Test matches, we are very competitive.
“We’re looking at opportunities for the next couple of years to expand a two-match Test series to three and a three-match series to four. Those are engagements taking place already.”
In another significant development, Nkwe confirmed that the Proteas could soon evolve into a side that plays limited overs and Test cricket simultaneously, as England has done in the recent past.
“That’s another option in the future, to have both our red-ball and white-ball teams playing at the same time,” said Nkwe.
“We are struggling with gaps in a packed FTP over the next four years, so we’re looking at other options, and this is one of them.”
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