Cricket / England's South Africa tour called off after COVID-19 outbreak

Zoom News : Dec 08, 2020, 09:14 AM
Cricket Desk: After many disruptions and setbacks, England’s white-ball tour of South Africa has been cancelled after COVID-19 outbreak in both the squads. Only three T20I matches were completed as scheduled, however, the ODI series, which should have started on Friday as per the original scheduled, suffered deferment thrice in four days due to the positive COVID-19 cases in both the squads and at their hotel in Cape Town.

The cancellation comes as a massive blow to Cricket South Africa’s hopes of reviving cricket after the resumption of sports post-COVID-19 lockdown. Major teams like Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are due to tour South Africa in coming weeks but the latest development in England’s tour could force the three teams to reconsider their decision in the wake of the problems England encountered.

As many as three South African players contracted the coronavirus after England arrived on November 17. Since then, two England players have returned COVID-19 positive along with two workers at the shared hotel in Cape Town.

The decision was taken jointly by the two Boards to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams.

The CSA and ECB will now work together to determine when the three-match series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men’s Super League, can take place in the future.

CSA Acting CEO, Kugandrie Govender said: “The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly, and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us.

I would like to thank the ECB for the continued positive relations, and we look forward to hosting the England men’s team in the near future.”

Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount. We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa, we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this Series, in the best interest of the players’ welfare.

“I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding on this matter and look forward to working with them to identify a time when we can return to play these fixtures in the future.”