Cape Town: India's shortened tour of two Tests and three one-day internationals in December will rob South Africa of their marquee new year match in Cape Town and leave the top-ranked team with no games through all of January, their peak season.
Confirming the curtailed series that was announced without exact dates last week, Cricket South Africa said on Wednesday that the Indians will arrive on Dec. 2 and leave after the second Test in Durban is due to finish on Dec. 30, cutting their visit by half.
India will play just six games and five internationals, not the 15 matches and 12 internationals over two months CSA initially announced in July - a schedule rejected by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in a row between them over CSA's recruitment of former International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
While the new dates allow India to celebrate Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test in a home series against West Indies next month and then tour New Zealand in the new year, South Africa is left with gaps in late November and all through January to fill to recoup the significant financial losses from the reduced India tour. Australia play in South Africa in February and March.
CSA president Chris Nenzani said on Wednesday he wanted to "assure all our stakeholders that we are working on plans to fill the gaps in our international itinerary for the 2013-14 season."
One of the last-minute solutions could be a short return limited-overs series against Pakistan at the end of November. A Pakistan Cricket Board official says the two countries are in talks over a two-week Pakistan tour to South Africa straight after their current series in the United Arab Emirates, although that still leaves January completely empty.
India's tour will open with the first of three ODIs on Dec. 5. The ODIs will be in Johannesburg, Durban and Centurion. The first Test is at Johannesburg's Wanderers from Dec. 18-22 and the second Test at Durban's Kingsmead ground from Dec. 26-30. India will play just one warm-up game, a two-day match against a South African invitational team before the opening Test.