England Lions to tour South Africa

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Cricket South Africa and the England and Wales Cricket Board have announced a reciprocal agreement, which will see the England Lions tour South Africa in 2015 and South Africa A visit England in 2017.

Cricket South Africa and the England and Wales Cricket Board have announced a reciprocal agreement, which will see the England Lions tour South Africa in 2015 and South Africa A visit England in 2017.

The first leg of the relationship, announced on Tuesday, will feature two four-day matches and five limited-overs fixtures in Paarl, Kimberley, Potchefstroom, Benoni, Bloemfontein and Pretoria.

"This is a very important agreement for us," said CSA general manager Corrie van Zyl. "It continues our policy of enabling our second best team to test itself against some of the strongest cricket playing countries in the world.

"What is particularly important is that our A side will now tour England in 2017 at the same time as our senior squad is in that country. England is always an out-of-season tour for us and it will help a lot to know that our back-up players are match-fit in case of need."

The England Lions and Sri Lanka A met for three four-day matches in Pallekele, Dambulla and Colombo earlier this year, with the tourists securing a one-nil series triumph under the captaincy of all-rounder Chris Woakes.

"The Lions tour to South Africa will be an excellent opportunity to take on some very tough opposition in a challenging environment. It will also offer us an opportunity to test the players at the very highest level and allow the players to ultimately learn a great deal from the trip. We look forward to visiting South Africa early next year," added ECB performance director, David Parsons.

<b>Tour Itinerary</b><br>5 to 7 January 2015: SA Invitation XI v England Lions, Soweto<br>11 to 14 January 2015: Four-day match, South Africa A v England Lions, Paarl<br>18 to 21 January 2015: Four-day match, South Africa A v England Lions, Bloemfontein<br>25 January 2015: One-day match, South Africa A v England Lions, Bloemfontein<br>28 January 2015: One-day match, South Africa A v England Lions, Kimberley <br>31 January 2015: One-day match, South Africa A v England Lions, Potchefstroom<br>2 February 2015: One-day match, South Africa A v England Lions, Pretoria<br>5 February 2015: One-day match, South Africa A v England Lions, Benoni

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