South Africa’s quest to achieve automatic qualification for the 2023 Cricket World Cup became more difficult on Wednesday when the country’s board agreed to forfeit a series against Australia.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) withdrew from a scheduled three-match World Cup Super League series in Australia in January in order to have their best players available for a domestic Twenty20 league. The matches had been scheduled for January 12, 14 and 17 in Hobart, Sydney and Perth.
South Africa are languishing in 11th place in the Super League, with the top eight qualifying automatically for the World Cup in India next year.
The loss of the 30 points available for the series means South Africa will almost certainly have to win their remaining series against India and England, plus two postponed matches against the Netherlands, to avoid playing in a qualifying tournament.
“As difficult as this decision has been for CSA, the long-term sustainability of our new T20 League is reliant on having all our domestic players available for this exciting new addition to the CSA calendar,” CSA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki said in a statement. Cricket Australia announced earlier on Wednesday that it had been unable to accommodate South Africa’s request to change the dates of the series.