South Africa will host England in a three-match series of one-day internationals in January, even though they are launching a new Twenty20 league at the same time.
Cricket South Africa on Thursday announced the schedule, with the first two games in Bloemfontein on Jan. 27 and Jan. 29 and the final match at Kimberley on Feb. 1. The tour will clash with a new 33-match SA20 league, which is due to start on Jan. 10, but it is expected that the ODIs will be played between the end of the group phase of the T20 league and the start of its playoff round.
The series was previously postponed in late 2020, when England cut short their tour amid an outbreak of COVID-19 infections in the South African camp when both squads were supposed to be staying in isolation.
A return by England has since been in doubt because of the potential clash with the T20 league but South Africa’s precarious position in the qualifying race for the 2023 World Cup means the series now goes ahead as the hosts needs the chance to earn points to secure automatic qualification. South Africa have already forfeited three ODIs in Australia in January, that would have also counted towards qualification, to launch their T20 competition.
South Africa will play more qualifying ODIs against the Netherlands in Benoni on March 31 and the Wanderers in Johannesburg on April 2, it was also announced on Thursday. They were scheduled for last December but called off at the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. South Africa will host West Indies in two tests at Pretoria from Feb. 28-March 4 and Johannesburg from March 8-12 as they seek a place in the World Test Championship final.
There will also be three ODIs against the Windies, although they will not count towards World Cup qualification, and three T20s.