Proteas v Boks: No-go this season

Nelson Mandela Challenge
Nelson Mandela Challenge

Cape Town – Cricket South Africa have confirmed that one of the most popular, though least orthodox fixtures on the annual calendar is an absentee this season.

Played in three previous summers, the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup match between the Proteas and a cricket-proficient selection from the Springbok rugby team gets a wide berth in 2017/18.

CSA’s head of media and communications, Altaaf Kazi, told Sport24 that “dates and timing was an issue” in determining its fate this time.

Last season’s encounter at Newlands, again attracting a bumper gate, was staged on December 8, when the Proteas prevailed by 16 runs against rugby stars like Faf de Klerk, Pat Lambie, Damian de Allende and retired legend Butch James.

Previous games have been staged also at Newlands (2013/14, Proteas won by 14 runs) and the Wanderers (2014/15, Boks by five wickets).

But tight scheduling in both sports is believed to have largely put paid to the spectacle this time.

At the start of this season, a generous chunk of the cricket roster had been allocated to the since-cancelled, maiden T20 Global League, initially intended to take place between November 3 and December 16.

The Proteas are now preparing for a busy period in Test cricket, starting with a once-off contest against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth from Boxing Day.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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