South Africa captain Dean Elgar has lamented the team’s limited test schedule in coming years, saying his players would prefer more matches in the format but are powerless to change it.
South Africa will play 28 tests in the 2023-27 Future Tours Programme, fewer than New Zealand (32) and Bangladesh (34), as the country makes room for its domestic T20 league “SA20” which launches next week.
Australia, who lead the World Test Championship standings, have 40 tests in the cycle, with England 43.
South Africa slumped to their first test series loss in Australia since 2005/06 with defeat in Melbourne last week. Fewer test-playing opportunities could mean further struggles for the Proteas as they look to rebuild following the retirements of a slew of seasoned players.
“I don’t think a lot of things are going in our favour,” Elgar told reporters on Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground on the eve of the third test against Australia.
“I think (it’s a) disappointing fact that we aren’t playing more tests these coming years and obviously there’s a lot of players that would like to be playing a lot more.
“Again, we can’t make those decisions. It would be nice if we could have a massive influence in that.
“But, yeah, I guess the administrators of the game back home feel that we need to obviously establish something in order to have revenue going forward.
“And then maybe, potentially, in a couple of years’ time we can obviously incorporate more tests going forward in the schedule.”
While heavyweights India, England and Australia will play off in five-test series, South Africa will not play any with more than two matches in the 2023-25 World Test Championship schedule. Cricket South Africa boss Pholetsi Moseki said in August it was “sad” for the purists not to have more tests but hosting them was costing the board too much money.