Cricket South Africa has indefinitely postponed the Proteas proposed tours of the West Indies and Sri Lanka. CSA director Graeme Smith has confirmed that the tours are suspended indefinitely due to rising COVID-19 pandemic concerns.
But COVID-19 threat is not the sole reason to suspend the tour to the Caribbean.
“West Indies (tour) has been postponed indefinitely. We are struggling to find a time with the IPL being fitted in,” ESPNCricinfo has quoted Smith as saying.
“It looks like our players are going to be needed from the beginning of September, Government-permitting, and travel permitting. Sri Lanka also (postponed). I expect that once things get up and running, our team, on the men’s side, I would say from November onwards, if all goes well, it will be a really busy period for South African cricket, probably playing in times that we haven’t played before and trying to cram in a lot of the missed tours.”
Cricket West Indies was reportedly looking to reschedule the home series against South Africa in September for either five T20 Internationals or two Tests. The tour originally slated in July-August was deferred due to the COVID-19 concerns. The Proteas were also forced to cancel their tour of Sri Lanka for three One Day Internationals and as many T20Is in June.
Though the Caribbean Islands have managed to keep the novel coronavirus spread under check, key South African players’ commitment for the IPL from September 28 to November 8 and the Caribbean Premier League from August 18 to September 10 allow little room to accommodate the series.
Smith has said at a Press conference today (Saturday) that the South African players “will be needed” at the IPL. It is yet another case of professional leagues taking precedence over bilateral international cricket. The CPL and IPL commitments are the obvious priorities for the players and the board.
The number of cases in Sri Lanka are also under control. But South Africa has reportedly sealed its borders due to aggravating COVID-19 concerns.
CSA will now need the Government clearance for the male players’ participation in the IPL and the women’s tour of England.
South Africa have not played any international cricket ever since their three-math ODI tour of India in March was cancelled without a ball being bowled. The first match at Dharamshala was washed out and subsequent two games were cancelled due to rise in COVID-19 cases in India.