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Sat Apr 19 01:20:02 SAST 2014

South Africa’s Boxing Day test to return

Reuters | 07 June, 2012 16:100 Comments
Hashim Amla of South Africa bats during day one of the First Test match between New Zealand and South Africa at the University Oval on March 7, 2012 in Dunedin, New Zealand
Image by: Phil Walter / Getty Images / Gallo Images

Test cricket will return to its traditional slot between Christmas and New Year after fans protested about the scrapping of the fixture in 2012, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said on Thursday.

“We’ve clearly noted the concerns and it was heart-warming to see such a passion for test cricket being expressed,” CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul told Reuters.  

“It shows that there is still a great following for test cricket and that’s something we must not just take for granted.

We made a mistake in not explaining the reasons for the move better.”  

The 2012 ‘Boxing Day test’ has been replaced by a T20  international against New Zealand in Port Elizabeth, with CSA citing low crowd numbers, poor performances in recent years and a desire to allow players to spend time at home over Christmas as reasons for the decision.  

Faul, however, said broadcasters were also unhappy about the change and it would be a one-off.  

“We’re going to have to take test cricket more seriously and I can see the Boxing Day test definitely being played again soon,” he said.  

South Africa have lost their last four home Boxing Day tests, against Sri Lanka, India, England and Australia.

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