Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - South Africa's 2022 tour to India a rarity. The India series is a replacement for South Africa's aborted ODI tour in March last year in 2020.
The India series is a replacement for South Africa's aborted ODI tour in March last year in 2020.
India have played 673 matches at home, all told. Only one of them – Afghanistan's inaugural Test, in Bangalore in 2018 – has been staged in June. There are good reasons why: average temperatures veer towards 40 degrees Celsius in that month and several regions of the country are braced for the monsoon then.
But the convention is set to change next year, when South Africa will be in India for five T20Is from June 9 to 19. The expansion of the IPL from eight to 10 teams from 2022 is thought to have forced the extension of India's home season.
There were also 10 teams in the 2011 IPL, which comprised 74 matches spread over 51 days. But two games were played on 25 of those days, a phenomenon that has become less prevalent. Last year, when the eight contesting teams played 60 matches, only 10 of the 53 days featured double-headers. Next year's tournament is expected to again amount to 74 games, and it will have to stretch beyond the 51 days of 2011 if more matches are standalone affairs than was the case 10 years ago.
Only twice in the 11 editions of the IPL that have ended in India has the tournament stretched into June, and not by much. In the inaugural 2008 event and in 2014, when the action started in the UAE and finished in India, the final was played on June 1. The BCCI have known better than to leave it any later than that, no doubt for the reasons already mentioned.
This year's competition, suspended in May after 31 of the scheduled 60 matches due to struggles to contain the spread of Covid-19 in India, will end on October 15. But in the UAE, where it resumed on Sunday (September 19).
So the South Africans will be prepared for plenty of wetness next year – either buckets of their own sweat, or heavy rain, or both. The monsoon doesn't often touch down in Chennai and Bangalore, where the first two T20Is will be played, in June. But any or all of the last three fixtures, in Nagpur, Rajkot and Delhi, could fall victim to weather bombs.
The South Africans are also unfamiliar with playing in June, and not only at home. The sixth month of the year is deep in the southern hemisphere's winter when cricket involving Africans is generally played over the equator and far away from home.
But of South Africa's 643 matches on the road just 64 have been in June. And 49 of them were in England, where conditions are far removed from Asia's. Their other 15 June games have been in the Caribbean, which is closer to the truth they will face in India next year.
The India series is a replacement for South Africa's aborted ODI tour in March last year when the first game was washed out and the last two scrapped because of the pandemic.
So much about the world has since changed in all sorts of ways, but not this: international cricket isn't often played in India in June. That, too, looks to be on its way out.