Graeme Smith T20

Former South Africa captain and director of cricket Graeme Smith will head up the new T20 league. Photo: Backpagepix

SA20 boss regrets New Zealand Test series schedule conflict

Graeme Smith says that the Proteas being compromised by the SA20 tournament was something that should never have happened.

Graeme Smith T20

Former South Africa captain and director of cricket Graeme Smith will head up the new T20 league. Photo: Backpagepix

Commissioner of the SA20, Graeme Smith, has stressed that the league must work closely with Cricket South Africa (CSA) to avoid any possible conflicts between international bilateral activities and the franchise-based T20 tournament.

Even though the Sunrisers Eastern Cape successfully defended their championship in the second SA20 in what was an entertaining tournament, there were some negative aspects to the competition. 

SA20 boss regrets Test series schedule conflict

Due to scheduling conflicts, CSA fielded a third rate Test team skippered by Neil Brand for the two-match away series against New Zealand, which resulted in a crushing loss for South Africa in the first game of the series.

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Smith said that all parties would work together to synchronise their calendars in order to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. 

He emphasised that it is unlikely that the SA20 will alter its customary early-year timeframe.

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“It should never have happened. We will work together with Cricket South Africa to make sure that doesn’t happen again. We generally will always be in the same window and we will have to gather information around the international tournaments and will be working with CSA on scheduling,” Graeme Smith said.

“So we have already started all of that and we will take a look at the window. We have been quite upfront. January-February window is where Cricket South Africa identified as the best place to be.

“But you have always got to reflect and see what the challenges are in the world game,” Smith added.

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Problems on the horizon

Potential conflicts with other cricket competitions, such as the Champions Trophy and South Africa’s tour of Pakistan, are expected when the SA20 returns in 2025. 

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Smith brought up the subject of scheduling flexibility and the significance of making well-informed judgements in conjunction with the ICC and CSA.

“The Champions Trophy dates are not set in stone. We will work with the ICC and CSA and once we’ve got confirmed information, we can make informed decisions,” Smith said.