CSA blames Australia for monopolising Boxing Day TestNovember 25th, 2008 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Nov 25 (IANS) Accusing Cricket Australia (CA) for monopolising the holiday period, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has declared that it will be touring Down Under for the last time for Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests.CSA chief executive Gerald Majola confirmed their stand Monday after CA refused a request to rotate the biggest two Tests on the cricketing calendar 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,” Majola was quoted as saying in the Herald Sun.
“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 a 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.”
South Africa arrives in Perth next month for a three-Test campaign that begins at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) Ground Dec 17 and then travels to Melbourne and Sydney.
After the limited-over series is over in February, Australia leaves for South Africa for another three Tests.
CA insists the Melbourne and Sydney matches are traditional and “iconic” events and are crucial to the enduring appeal of the sport.
“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. Last year 68,465 spectators attended against India, while 89,155 watched the Test against England in 2006.
Majola , however, is confident of the scene being same in South Africa if Australia tours in the heart of summer and plays 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. “It’s unfair that we have to travel every time to play Boxing Day Test. That’s when our crowds come to the grounds like they do in Australia.”
CSA receives about $300,000 in compensation for touring Australia in the Christmas period, but insists that more money would be made in their country.