- South Africa will also play England, Australia and Pakistan during 2020-21 season
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed that Sri Lanka will visit South Africa for a two-match Test series, which falls under the World Test Championship cycle, in December-January 2020-21.
The two Tests are scheduled to begin on 26 December at Centurion and on 3 January at Johannesburg, thus filling the traditional Boxing Day and New Years’ slots.
The up-country venues have been chosen for the Sri Lanka series for two reasons: most obviously that CSA can create a bubble between Centurion and Johannesburg, with teams likely to stay in Sandton, but also for cricketing purposes. It will suit South Africa to play Sri Lanka on the two fastest surfaces in the country, especially after losing the last home series 2-0 against them on slower surfaces on the coast.
South Africa have not beaten Sri Lanka in a Test series since the 2016-17 summer, losing to them in 2018 in Sri Lanka and in 2018-19 at home. All those matches were played under the captaincy of Faf du Plessis, who stood down in January, which means the upcoming Sri Lanka series will be the first under a new captain, who has yet to be named.
In a related development Reuters reported South Africa will also play England, Australia and Pakistan at home during the 2020-21 season and could also tour the latter for the first time in 14 years after announcing their season schedule on Tuesday.
Cricket South Africa last week announced a home limited overs series against England that will feature three One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 matches from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9.
Australia will arrive for three tests in February and March, with the exact dates and venues yet to be confirmed.
It will be the first red ball series in South Africa for the Australians since the ball-tampering scandal of 2018 over which captain Steve Smith and batsmen David Warner and Cameron Bancroft received lengthy bans.
Pakistan will play three ODIs and three T20s in South Africa in April, with the details of that trip still being worked out.
CSA have said they are also exploring the feasibility of touring Pakistan for the first time since 2007, which would likely be between the home Sri Lanka and Australia test series.
A CSA delegation is scheduled to leave for Pakistan this weekend for a security assessment.
Zimbabwe are currently in Pakistan for three ODIs and three T20 international matches, with those games to get under way on Friday.