Cricket South Africa has stirred a hornet’s nest by doing away with the traditional Boxing Day Test in Durban this year.
Though not as globally popular as the Melbourne Test, it is still something a large number of South African fans keenly looked forward to.
If the decision not to start a Test on Boxing Day — a regular feature since South Africa’s re-entry into the international fold in 1992 — was shocking, the explanation appears plain ridiculous. The CSA says in its website: “The fact is that the Proteas have performed very poorly in Boxing Day Tests…We have only won two out of our last 10 Christmas Test matches in South Africa,” it said. There were few takers for CSA’s assurance the fixture could be back next year.
Many fans vented their ire on the internet.
“What are we? Nincompoops! If SA somehow stops winning at home, will the CSA cease to have home Test series?” asked a fan on CSA’s website.
The decision, coming at a time when the impact of T20 on Test cricket is being hotly debated, will raise concerns elsewhere as well.
While the CSA has explained it has not done away with the Test to accommodate three T20s, the changed schedule during the holiday season reeks of financial consideration.