New Zealand have been dealt a major blow ahead of their Test series against current number one ranked South Africa with the news that Tim Southee has been ruled out after being diagnosed with a ruptured ligament in his thumb.
South Africa's new Twenty20 coach Russell Domingo's first series in charge against New Zealand is bound to come in for plenty of scrutiny but he plans to give all 15 players in his squad playing time.
With AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla absent, the series will afford opportunities to other players to step up and make a case for themselves to be picked on a regular basis.
Although AB de Villiers' withdrawal from South Africa's Twenty20 International squad leaves the team short of experience, it does provide opportunities for other players to prove their worth.
The likes of Farhaan Behardien, David Miller and Justin Ontong are likely to be given their chance as Russell Domingo takes charge of his first matches since assuming control of the Twenty20 International team.
Two of the uncapped players in New Zealand's Twenty20 squad played starring roles as they beat South Africa A in their solitary warm-up match before the first Twenty20 International on Friday.
Auckland's Colin Munro top-scored for them in stuttering batting performance with 39 off 27 balls, while his state team-mate Mitchell McClenaghan took three cheap South Africa wickets.
South African all-rounder AB de Villiers has withdrawn from the Twenty International series against New Zealand to rest ahead of the Test series that begins next year.
Although de Villiers had been named in the squad, he was not due to take on his normal role as captain but after a busy year, he requested to be excused from the series.
Former Indian captain Anjum Chopra has been appointed as a technical advisor to the South African Women's squad ahead of the Women's World Cup in January and February.
Chopra played in six World Cups herself and was the first Indian to play in 100 One-Day Internationals, leading India to their first ever overseas Test series win.
South Africa have kept faith in the team that beat Australia in Perth earlier this month in naming a 13-man squad to take on New Zealand in two Tests in January.
The 11 players that won by 309 runs to take a 1-0 series win at the WACA are joined by Jacques Rudolph and Rory Kleinveldt as leg-spinner Imran Tahir is left out.
Francois du Plessis will captain South Africa in their three-match Twenty20 International series against New Zealand as AB de Villiers is rested.
South Africa's rotation policy will see de Villiers step down as captain with Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla absent as four uncapped players have been included the squad.
A side strain has ruled Mark Gillespie out of New Zealand's Twenty20 International series in South Africa and he has been replaced in the squad by Michael Bates.
Gillespie hadn't even joined up with the squad having himself been named as a replacement for Adam Milne, who suffered an Achilles injury.
West Indies Women will play five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals against South Africa Women from 7th to 20th January.
The ODI series will provide both teams with competitive preparation for the World Cup and the two Twenty20 matches will be played ahead of the final matches of the Caribbean Twenty20.
Brendon McCullum will captain New Zealand during their tour of South Africa while previous skipper Ross Taylor takes a break from international cricket.
McCullum was handed the limited overs captaincy as per a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Board decision but Taylor declined the opportunity to retain the Test leadership, resulting in McCullum taking on captaincy of all three teams.
Australian captain Michael Clarke haspaid tribute to South Africa's performance during the Test series, which the Proteas won 1-0 following a 309-run win in the final Test in Perth.
Clarke scored a double-century in the series opener in Brisbane but saw his side only able draw the opening two matches, and South Africa were able to take advantage at the WACA.
Ricky Ponting admits that his final outing for Australia was one of his most nerve-wracking, and that his inability to score runs under pressure was one of the main reasons why he decided to retire.
"It's been a pretty long and tough week. I know I've been more nervous, this game, than any other game I've played, just for the reason for how much it means to play for Australia and wanting to finish the right way," he said.
South Africa handed Australia a 309-run thrashing on day four of the third and final Test in Perth to remain at the head of the ICC Test rankings.
Their position had been in doubt in the early part of the match but they came back strongly and dismissed Australia for 322 on the final day having asked them to chase 632 to win.
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has announced that the upcoming third Test against South Africa in Perth will be his last and he will subsequently retire from international cricket.
Ponting led Australia between 2002 and 2011, guiding the side to two World Cup successes in 2003 and 2007 and overseeing a period of dominance in Test cricket.
A cricket video for Cricket World TV about the latest cricket newsas we look back on the second Test between Australia and South Africa in Adelaide, which saw Faf du Plessis score an unbeaten century on debut to stave off defeat.
Australia have called up Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson and John Hastings for the third and final Test against South Africa in Perth.
James Pattinson misses out through injury while batsman Rob Quiney has been left out with Shane Watson now fit to return. Johnson's recall makes the squad a 14-strong party.
Francois du Plessis batted throughout the final day of the second Test in Adelaide, scoring an unbeaten century to ensure South Africa and Australia drew.
His unbeaten 110 occupied 376 deliveries and along with heroic efforts from AB de VIlliers and Jacques Kallis, South Africa kept Australia at bay, closing on 248 for eight in their second innings.
South Africa will fly in all-rounder Ryan McLaren as cover for Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander ahead of the third Test against Australia which begins on Friday.
In other news from Australia, it has been confirmed that James Pattinson will miss most of the remainder of the Australian summer as a result of the side pain that he felt on the third day of the ongoing second Test.
Vernon Philander and Jacques Kallis were early casualties for South Africa, even before they suffered a mauling at the hands of Australia on the opening day of the second Test in Adelaide.
Philander didn't even make the team due to a sore back and Kallis bowled just 3.3 overs before limping off with a hamstring strain. Australia went on to close the day on 482 for five.