Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland announced that Australia will play Pakistan, not South Africa, on the Boxing Day Test in 2016.
The CA chief believes that Pakistan will provide stiff challenge to the hosts, as they were outright winners the last time both teams faced each other in 2014 in UAE.
“Certainly the last time we played them [in the UAE], they were very competitive,” said Sutherland.
“I think Pakistan are up to fourth in the [Test] rankings and points-wise not too away far from knocking off Australia.”
Proteas will now tour Australia in November, but the 50-year-old former Australian first-class cricketer hopes that both cricketing giants will face each other in a Boxing Day Test, when South Africa travel Down Under the next time.
“We’re very optimistic we can find a way for them [South Africa] to come back and play Boxing Day [and] New Year’s Test matches the next time they tour.”