Melbourne: South Africa will play its first cricket test at Brisbane's Gabba ground in nearly 50 years when the Proteas take on Australia in the opener of a three-test series beginning November 9, part of a 2012-13 home schedule that also includes Sri Lanka and West Indies.

Cricket Australia said on Thursday that the second South Africa test will be from November 22-26 at the Adelaide Oval, followed by the third from November 30-December 4 at the WACA Ground in Perth.

In the last Australia-South Africa test played at the Gabba in December 1963, a Richie Benaud-led Australia drew with a South Africa team featuring six debutantes including left-handed batting ace Graeme Pollock.

That match was also known for being Ian Meckiff's last after he was no-balled for throwing four times in his only over.

South Africa beat Australia 2-1 when they last toured in 2008-09, and drew 1-1 with Michael Clarke's side when they met in a two-match series last year in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The Proteas can go No.1 in the test rankings if they beat England in a three-test series starting Thursday in Britain.

Sri Lanka will play three tests against Australia December 14-18 in Hobart, the traditional Boxing Day match from December 26-30 in Melbourne and from January 3-7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

If former captain Ricky Ponting plays all three tests against South Africa, he will equal Steve Waugh as Australia's most-capped test cricketer, and Ponting would then move ahead at his home ground at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

Waugh, a now-retired former captain, played 168 tests for Australia while Ponting has played 165.

Australia's summer season continues with five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka in January, followed by five ODIs and one Twenty20 match against the West Indies in February.


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