Proteas captain Dean Elgar. Photo: AFP

Proteas captain Dean Elgar. Photo: AFP

Debate erupts over Proteas three-day Test decision

The Proteas opted against extending the third Test versus England by an extra day in order to prioritise time with family.

Proteas captain Dean Elgar. Photo: AFP

Proteas captain Dean Elgar. Photo: AFP

Day two of the third Test between England and the Proteas at The Oval on Friday was called off due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, but it remained unclear whether the Test could be cancelled outright.

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Numerous sports fixtures across England were postponed or called off this weekend, but on Friday it was confirmed that the Test between England and South African will resume and pay tribute to the Queen.

A statement from England Cricket read as follows: “We have been in discussions with Cricket South Africa but they have to fly home on Tuesday to spend a precious few days at home before heading to India and Australia. Tomorrow (Saturday) is therefore confirmed as Day 3 of a 5-day Test Match.”

This sparked immediate debate on social media, with some defending the decision by Cricket South Africa, while others threw accusations in the direction of South Africa.

CSA ultimately released the following statement below:

Unfortunately play was abandoned on day one due to the extensive rain, and day two was suspended following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. 

The ECB and CSA considered whether it was possible to extend the final match of the series by one day but this was unfortunately not feasible due to the Proteas’ current schedule and the imminent departure of the white-ball squad for another two-month tour. The Proteas players have already been away from home for over two months and will have only a few days with families at home before leaving on their next two-month tour to India and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. 

The Test squad will arrive home on Wednesday, 14 September as scheduled, with the white-ball squad and the entire team management set to depart for the limited-overs tour of India on 23 September.  

CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki commented:  “CSA is in full support of the ECB’s decision to go ahead with the third Test match between England and South Africa following the UK’s day of mourning. After consultation with the Proteas’ team management and given the schedule ahead, it was clear that it would not be in the players’ interests to extend the Test and reduce the few days the players have with their families before another long tour.” 

To commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, both teams will observe a minute’s silence prior to the start of play and each squad member will wear a black armband for the duration of the match.  

According to ESPNcricinfo, the ECB and the Proteas management team met to discuss options, with CSA apparently happy to accept whatever the ECB board deemed appropriate.

The Proteas would also reportedly be willing to extend the team’s stay in the UK to allow for the completion of the series.

ECB chair Richard Thompson said: “I’m sure I speak for everyone in the game when I say how truly sad I am to hear of the Queen’s passing. Her Majesty has been such a great supporter of the game and was always so vocal of her and her late husband’s enjoyment around the sport. Her dedication to her country will never be forgotten. For her service and her selflessness over her extraordinary reign, we owe her a debt that can never be repaid.”


On Thursday, the Proteas lost the toss and had been put in to bat, but persistent rain eventually forced the day’s play to be called off.

Notably, Rassie van der Dussen sustained a hand injury while fielding on the opening day of the second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester, and Ryan Rickelton now comes into the Test side on the back of a decent run of form for English County Championship team Northamptonshire.

“He’s our next batter in and he’s had a decent stint in the United Kingdom where he’s been playing County Cricket,” captain Dean Elgar said. “It’s his time to shine and I’m confident that he’ll be filling that spot that Rassie has left.”

There were other significant changes as Khaya Zondo came in for Aiden Markram, while Wiaan Mulder and Marco Jansen are also added to the team, with Lungi Ngidi battling an injury niggle.



Dean Elgar (captain, Titans), Sarel Erwee (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Simon Harmer (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Wiaan Mulder (Lions), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Keegan Petersen (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Ryan Rickelton (Lions), Lutho Sipamla (Lions), Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper, Western Province), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors)  

South Africa tour to England itinerary 


17-21 August   

England lost to South Africa by an innings and 12 runs – Lord’s Cricket Ground, London   

25 – 29 August   

England beat South Africa by an innings and 85 runs – Old Trafford, Manchester   

8-12 September  

England v South Africa – Oval, London