All the key dates for your diary for England's winter tour as Proteas look to respond to series thrashing in India.
Buoyed by their short-form of cricket success against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates this autumn, England’s next Tour takes them to the Southern Hemisphere and South Africa.
With the party due to arrive on December 11, Trevor Bayliss’ side will play a four Test series against the Proteas, starting on Boxing Day with the opener in Durban (December 26-30), and follow that up with five One Day Internationals (ODIs) and a couple of Twenty20 (T20) games against their hosts.
Several bookmakers, including bet365, make England 3/1 chances to win the Test series with fixtures in Cape Town (January 2-6), Johannesburg (January 14-18) and Centurion (January 22-26) to follow in the New Year. South Africa recently lost a series in India 3-0, so will want to bounce back on home soil.
With long-serving batsman Ian Bell dropped, how will South African-born Nick Compton fare? There is talk of Proteas legend and former captain Graeme Smith coming out of international retirement to take part in subsequent Test series. Such news comes as a boost to South Africa, who are odds-on at 8/13 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes to take victory.
Following the conclusion of Test cricket, the ODIs get underway on February 3 in Bloemfontein, then Port Elizabeth three days later, Centurion after the same interval, and Johannesburg and Cape Town will also be revisited on February 12 and 14.
Those latter locations will also be the venues for T20 Internationals on February 19 and 21, with Hampshire batsman James Vince and Yorkshire right-arm pace bowler Liam Plunkett both catching the eye in this form of the game against Pakistan.
England’s cricket Tour of South Africa full schedule
Preliminary Tour matches
December 15-17: South Africa Invitation XI v England, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
December 20-22: South Africa Invitation XI v England, Pietermaritzburg Oval
South Africa v England Test series
December 26-30: First Test, Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban, play to start at 08:00 GMT live on Sky Sports 2
January 2-6: Second Test, Newlands, Cape Town, play to start at 08:30 GMT live on Sky Sports 2
January 14-18: Third Test, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, play to start at 08:30 GMT live on Sky Sports 2
January 22-26: Fourth Test, SuperSport Park, Centurion, play to start at 08:30 GMT live on Sky Sports 2
One Day Tour match
January 30: South Africa Invitation XI v England, Diamond Oval, Kimberley
South Africa v England ODI series
February 3: First ODI, Chevrolet Park, Bloemfontein, live on Sky Sports 2
February 6: Second ODI, St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth, live on Sky Sports 2
February 9: Third ODI, SuperSport Park, Centurion, live on Sky Sports 2
February 12: Fourth Momentum ODI, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, live on Sky Sports 2
February 14: Fifth Momentum ODI, Newlands, Cape Town, live on Sky Sports 2
T20 Tour match
February 17: South Africa Invitation XI v England, BolandPark, Paarl
South Africa v England T20 Internationals
February 19: First T20 International, Newlands, Cape Town, live on Sky Sports 2
February 21: Second T20 International, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, live on Sky Sports 2