SA20 Takes Precedence As South Africa Stars Opt To Skip New Zealand Test Tour

With South Africa's lucrative SA20 taking precedent, Cricket South Africa (CSA) will be sending in a low-key national team led by Neil Brand for the tour of New Zealand in February next year

Blame it on franchise-base T20 cricket, South Africa will send a second-string side for their two-Test tour of South Africa. Leading the Proteas will be uncapped Neil Brand. The 27-year-old left-handed opener has so far played 51 First-Class matches. (More Cricket News)

South Africa's tour of New Zealand 2024 starts on February 4 with the first Test match in Mount Maunganui. And their national team's schedule clashes with the SA20, one of the many T20 cricket leagues mushrooming around the world.

And evidently, Cricket South Africa has allowed their star players and the mainstays of the national team set-up to skip the pivotal tour. The series is part of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2023-24. South Africa finished 5th and third in the first two editions of the championship, earning prize monies of USD 200,000 and USD 450,000, respectively -- sums, one would argue, far fewer than SA20 earned.

Here's the South Africa Test squad for the tour of New Zealand: Neil Brand (c), David Bedingham, Ruan de Swardt, Clyde Fortuin, Zubayr Hamza, Tshepo Moreki, Mihlali Mpongwana, Duanne Olivier, Dane Paterson, Keegan Petersen, Dane Piedt, Raynard van Tonder, Shaun von Berg, Khaya Zondo.

So, the majority of the players currently taking on India at home are not in the squad. Instead, the likes of Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Tristan Stubbs, Kyle Verreynne, Marco Jansen, Nandre Burger, Wiaan Mulder, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj will be representing their respective franchises in the IPL-inspired SA20 which begins on January 10.

Only Keegan Petersen, David Bedingham, and Zubayr Hamza (who replaced injured Temba Bavuma) are part of the squad named for the India series. Dean Elgar, who lead South Africa in the second and final Test against India, will retire after the match. He, however, will not be involved in the T20 tournament.

South Africa produced a clinical performance to hand the visitors an innings defeat in the Boxing Day Test, thus keeping their record of not losing a series against India alive.

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