Cricket SA CEO on India tour: 'It's still on the cards despite current chaos'

Members of the Proteas ODI squad during training. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Members of the Proteas ODI squad during training. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
  • Cricket South Africa's acting chief executive officer Pholetsi Moseki said the highly anticipated India tour is still on the cards.
  • The ongoing Netherlands tour is hanging in the balance after the new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 called omicron saw South Africa being put on the red list.
  • The first ODI was abandoned due to rain on Friday, but the second and third ODI's fate still remains up in the air.

Cricket South Africa's (CSA) acting chief executive officer Pholetsi Moseki said the much-needed India tour that's scheduled for next month is very much on the cards.

This comes on the heels of the ongoing Netherlands series threatened after the new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 called 'omicron' by the World Health Organisation saw the United Kingdom and several countries place South Africa on the red list.

The move has put the Netherlands players at risk of having to endure quarantine when they leave.

While Friday's first ODI between South Africa and the Netherlands was affected by the weather, communication on whether the second and third ODIs scheduled for Sunday and Wednesday will be made in the next "24 to 48 hours".

In a statement issued by CSA on Friday afternoon, a lack of flights out of South Africa was cited as the reason for the indecision over the cancellation of the tour.

The India tour, though holds more financial importance for CSA and Moseki said they've communicated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

According to Moseki, the BCCI assured them the money-spinning three-Test, three-ODI and four-T20 tour will take place.

"We spoke to the BCCI and they are very much committed to the tour," said Moseki.

"India A is still in the country and there isn't a sign of them leaving. They're still committed and they're expecting the tour to go ahead.

"The tour is definitely still on and there's no reason for it not to go on unless we're blindsided by something we're not expecting.

With President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Coronavirus Command Council are set to meet on Sunday, Moseki has already resigned himself to fact that crowds may not be allowed to attend the India matches in the event of that series going ahead.

While 2000 fans were allowed in at SuperSport Park for the first ODI, the ground was sparsely populated.

"The question that remains is whether fans will be allowed in. We've been angling to have more fans in the stadiums," Moseki said.

"With the way things are panning out, I guess the only thing we can do now is to wait on the government and see what happens.

"We hope we don't get to a state where there is a total shutdown."

Moseki, though is confident that their bio-bubbles are more than adequate to pass muster for the India series.

After the controversy of the England series last year, subsequent bio-bubbles that hosted Sri Lanka and Pakistan were beyond exemplary.

"Our bio-bubbles are very strong because you need to remember the England one that ended up being a disaster," Moseki said.

"We jacked up our bio-bubbles after that and the spectator matter is something that's not in our control.

"Once we're sorted with the Netherlands matter, we'll communicate further with the tour to show that there is a commitment for the tour to take place.

"We can play without spectators in the same way we did against Pakistan and Sri Lanka because the government knows we prepare strong bio-bubbles."

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