South Africa have postponed indefinitely proposed tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies and are unlikely to play again until November, Graeme Smith has revealed.
The Proteas were due to travel to Sri Lanka in June for three ODIs and a trio of Twenty20 fixtures against their hosts, only to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For the same reason they called off a planned trip to the Caribbean set for July and August, when they were due to play two Tests and five T20 matches.
While there was hope of facing West Indies in September instead, director of cricket Smith admits such a scenario is impossible for Cricket South Africa (CSA) due to the rearranged Indian Premier League season.
Several of the country’s leading names are contracted to franchises for the T20 tournament, which seems set to be staged in the United Arab Emirates this year.
“The West Indies tour has been postponed indefinitely,” Smith told the media on Saturday.
“We are struggling to find the time with the Indian Premier League, when our players are likely to be needed from the beginning of September. Sri Lanka also [postponed].
“I expect that once things get up and running, our team, on the men’s side, I would say from November onwards, if all goes well, it will be a really busy period for South African cricket, probably playing in times that we haven’t played before and trying to cram in a lot of the missed tours.”
As for his own situation with CSA, Smith reaffirmed his commitment to the role amid recent questions raised over his appointment, as well as the coaching staff he put in place.
Mark Boucher was named as head coach ahead of the home series with England, while fellow former international team-mates Jacques Kallis and Paul Harris were introduced to work as batting and spin-bowling consultants respectively.
“If you look at some of the things which are being said around appointments, my appointment and the appointment of my staff, I think some of those things are extremely unfair,” Smith said.
“It was good to see CSA president (Chris Nenzani) put that straight with his most recent comments. But I have to come back to my value system and why I got involved in this job.
“Cricket South Africa courted me for a while, I went through the same interview process as everybody else in getting the job.
“I got involved because I have got cricket at heart and to be part of the solution. I want to help create a strong Cricket South Africa.”