England confirm rescheduled tour of South Africa as ODI dates announced

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

England’s rearranged ODI series against South Africa has been confirmed for the New Year, with Jos Buttler’s side to play three matches in six days during a brief tour of the country.

Bloemfontein will host the first two matches, on January 27 and 29, before the series finishes at The Kimberley Oval - which will host international cricket for the first time since 2018 - on February 1.

The series had been due to take place in December 2020, during England’s first overseas tour since the start of the pandemic, but was abandoned over Covid fears after a number of positive tests within the teams’ ‘bio-secure bubbles’ and the tourists flew home without a ball being bowled.

There had been doubts over whether the proposed rearranged series would go ahead at all due to a clash with South Africa’s new lucrative T20 franchise tournament SA20, which launches in January and could still cause significant issues around player availability on both sides.

Already, South Africa have forfeited a three-match ODI series in Australia in January to ensure their star names are free to play in the new tournament.