Sport, arts and culture
South African sports fans can look forward to a packed sporting calendar this year, with the national soccer, rugby and cricket squads up against stiff competition.
Bafana Bafana will do battle in a quest to qualify for the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup in Brazil; the Proteas will defend their number one test ranking, while the Springboks will look to improve on their standing in the International Rugby Board rankings.
Bafana Bafana’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers
Bafana Bafana’s quest to play in their third FIFA World Cup will continue this year with qualifying games against Botswana and the Central African Republic.
The qualifying fixtures:
- Friday, 22 March (Venue to be announced): South Africa v Central African Republic.
- Friday, 7 June (Venue to be announced): Central African Republic v South Africa.
- Friday, 6 September (Venue to be announced): South Africa v Botswana.
The Springboks at home
Springbok fans will have the opportunity to watch their heroes in action when they face Scotland, Samoa and Italy in a new tournament featuring double-header test matches in June.
Fixtures for the tournament:
Saturday, 8 June (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit): Scotland v Samoa; Springboks v Italy.
Saturday, 15 June (Mr. Price Kings Park, Durban): Samoa v Italy; Springboks v Scotland.
Saturday, 22 June (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria): Team 3 v Team 4; Team 1 v Team 2.
The Springboks will also participate in the second edition of the Castle Rugby Championship featuring world champions New Zealand and the two super powers of rugby in the southern hemisphere Argentina and Australia.
Fixtures for the Castle Rugby Championship:
Saturday, 17 August (Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein): Springboks v Argentina.
Saturday, 28 September (Newlands, Cape Town): Springboks v Australia.
Saturday, 5 October (Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg): Springboks v New Zealand.
The Proteas will defend their number one test ranking against Pakistan in a three match test series, followed by two T20 Internationals and five One Day Internationals that will be played across the country. The series against Pakistan started earlier this month and will end on 24 March.
Fixtures for the test series against Pakistan:
- 1 – 5 February: 1st Sunfoil Test, Bidvest Wanderers, Johannesburg.
- 14 – 18 February: 2nd Sunfoil Test, Sahara Park Newlands, Cape Town.
- 22 – 26 February: 3rd Sunfoil Test, Super Sport Park, Centurion.
T20 International fixtures:
- 1 March: 1st T20 International, Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead, Durban.
- 3 March: 2nd T20 International, SuperSport Park, Centurion.
Fixtures for the One Day International series against Pakistan:
- 10 March: 1st Momentum One Day International, Chevrolet Park, Bloemfontein.
- 15 March: 2nd Momentum One Day International, Super Sport Park, Centurion.
- 17 March: 3rd Momentum One Day International, Bidvest Wanderers, Johannesburg.
- 21 March: 4th Momentum One Day International, Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban.
- 24 March: 5th Momentum One Day International, Sahara Park, Willowmore, Benoni.