The schedule for India’s upcoming tour of South Africa in December-January has been officially announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA). This tour will mark India’s first major cricket assignment following the ODI World Cup held in their home country. The tour will comprise three T20Is, three ODIs, and two Test matches, collectively known as the Freedom Series for the Gandhi-Mandela Trophy.
According to a joint statement issued by the BCCI and CSA, the tour will kick off with a three-match T20I series, which is set to take place on December 10 (at Durban), December 12 (at Gqeberha), and December 14 (at Johannesburg). This will be followed by a three-match ODI series, with the first ODI scheduled for December 17 in Johannesburg, and the second and third matches taking place on December 19 (at Gqeberha) and December 21 (at Paarl), respectively.
The T20Is will receive special attention as they serve as preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the Caribbean. The highly anticipated two-match Gandhi-Mandela Test series will be part of the World Test Championship and will follow India’s ongoing tour of the West Indies.
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah emphasized the significance of the Freedom Series, stating, “The Boxing Day Test and the New Year Test are amongst the most important fixtures on the international cricket calendar and the schedule has been planned particularly around these marquee dates.”
He further highlighted the historical importance of the series, as it pays tribute to two iconic leaders, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, who played integral roles in shaping their respective nations and the world at large. Shah expressed confidence in the intense competition and thrilling contests that will ensue, as well as the enthusiastic support of Indian fans in South Africa.
BCCI and @ProteasMenCSA announce fixtures for India’s Tour of South Africa 2023-24.
A look at the fixtures below 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/ubtB4CxXYX
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 14, 2023
CSA Chairperson Lawson Naidoo eagerly anticipates the arrival of the Indian cricket team and their passionate fans, emphasizing the significance of this tour for both teams. Naidoo expressed gratitude for the full tour, which covers all three formats of the game, and acknowledged the exceptional talent of both South Africa and India. He also emphasized the opportunity to showcase the best of South Africa by spreading out the matches across the nation. Naidoo commended the excellent relationship between CSA and BCCI, thanking the BCCI for their unwavering support.
Overall, the announced schedule has generated anticipation among cricket fans, as it promises an exciting series that will test the skills and competitiveness of both teams. With the rich history and legacy associated with the Gandhi-Mandela Trophy, this tour holds significant meaning for players and fans alike, and is poised to provide enthralling cricketing action.