London, Sep 10 (IANS) The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had reportedly proposed to Cricket South Africa (CSA) to extended the third and final Test at the Kennington Oval by a day to make up for the two days lost to rain and the passing away of Queen Elizabeth II, but the request was turned down by the Proteas due to “busy schedule”.
Not a single ball has been bowled in the deciding third Test between England and South Africa due to a washout on day one, followed by abandonment of play on Friday (Day 2) following the passing away of the Queen. The series is level at 1-1 with the Proteas winning the opening game at Lord’s by an innings and 12 runs, while the hosts came back strongly to win the second Test at Old Trafford by an innings and 85 runs.
Both matches were completed inside three days.
In the third Test, England had won the toss and opted to bowl first before rain washed out the day’s play.
The third day’s play will commence later on Saturday and South Africa are scheduled to fly out on Tuesday (September 13) before they begin the white-ball tour of India and then Australia.
A report in Daily Mail said on Saturday that CSA had cited workload management for their decision to not play an extra day of Test.
However, they are only scheduled to leave for India on September 23 and only six members of their squad — Aiden Markram, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Marco Jansen — will be on the flight, the report added.
The report quoting sources said South Africa’s reluctance to extend the Test by a day was because of their “reluctance to risk another defeat that could jeopardise their chances of reaching next year’s World Test Championship (WTC) final”.
South Africa skipper Dean Elgar had said at the toss before rain marred the opening day’s play that, “There’s definitely going to be a winner in this Test, there’s no doubt. With the brand of cricket both teams are playing, along with the styles, there will be a result.”
“The ECB and CSA considered whether it was possible to extend this final match by a day but this was unfortunately not possible due to the Proteas’ schedule and the imminent departure of the white-ball squad for another two-month tour,” read the Cricket South Africa statement.
“Players have already been away from home for over two months and will have only a few days with families at home before leaving on their tour of India and then the T20 World Cup in Australia.”