August window confirmed for rescheduled Test series against Australia
“With series lost in Covid and the challenge is you have eight white-ball events in eight years now, you have got IPL extending – trying to fit your calendar cycle in is a great challenge for everybody. So you need to review, you need to stay with the times. And you need to make sure we keep putting South African cricket on the map.
“Our team – both men and women – needs to be performing well and be recognised and people want to play us. But we need to make sure when things are happening in world cricket South Africa is at the forefront.”
As well as causing a fixture pile-up, not playing during the pandemic has hit CSA’s bottom line – the Australia cancellation resulted in losses to the tune of Rand 30 million (US$ 2 million) to Rand 40 million (US$ 2.6 million), while England’s withdrawal halfway through a limited-overs tour meant a US$ 1.5 million hit on TV rights.
“Cricket is a challenging landscape at the moment,” Smith said. “If I just think about our national team now: 52 days in the bubble against India, 10 days coming up in New Zealand for quarantines then the Test match there, home for Bangladesh, two months in IPL, full England tour, India again, [T20] World Cup.
“So how you manage players, management in terms of the stresses that they are facing in these biosecure environments, the amount of cricket we got to play to catch up [with] losses and various other things, so it’s a planning nightmare. And hopefully we will get that concoction right and we will see success.”