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South Africa want Boxing Day Test at home

CSA chief executive Gerald Majola was miffed at Australia's refusal to rotate the two big Tests every four years.

November 25, 2008, 6:36 PM IST
South Africa want Boxing Day Test at home

Melbourne: South Africa Cricket officials on Tuesday said they will not tour Australia during Christmas holidays in future if Australia do not agree to visit their country for the Boxing Day and New Year's Tests.

CSA chief executive Gerald Majola was miffed at Australia's refusal to rotate the two big Tests every four years.

"We would like to tour there any time, including Boxing Day, provided they are prepared to come to us one Boxing Day as well. We have no issues coming to Australia on Boxing Day.

"The problem is, Australia do not want to leave Australia on Boxing Day, which in our country is also our peak period. In fact, we would choose to play them Boxing Day and (then) alternate, that's the first choice. They are not prepared to do that," Majola was quoted as saying by Herald Sun.

South Africa are due to arrive in Perth next month for a three-Test series, which will be followed by a limited-over series. Australia will head to South Africa for a three-Test series in April.

Crickert Australia on the other hand said they do not want to rob their public off the two "iconic" events.

"It's the time of the year when Australians are on holidays and when the public interest in cricket is at its absolute peak," CA spokesman Peter Young said.

Both Tests generate strong crowds, which cannot be said for South Africa when it plays at home over the same period. Last year 68,465 spectators attended against India, while 89,155 watched the Test against England in 2006. When South Africa toured in 2005, 71,910 turned up at the MCG on Boxing Day.

While Test cricket's popularity seemed to have faded away in South Africa, Majola insisted that would change if Australia toured in the heart of summer and played in coastal cities such as Durban, which are full of holiday makers.

"If Australia would come to South Africa on Boxing Day, the ground would be full," Majola said, adding: "It's unfair that we have to travel to them every time to play Boxing Day. That's when our crowds come to the grounds like they do in Australia."

It is understood Cricket South Africa receives about $300,000 in compensation for touring Australia in the Christmas period, but CSA said far more money would be made if Australia went to South Africa.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
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