Cricket SA's Yacoob convinced that Australia's tour of SA will take place

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Constitutional Court Judge, Justice Zak Yacoob at Wits University on March 6, 2013.
Constitutional Court Judge, Justice Zak Yacoob at Wits University on March 6, 2013.
(Gallo Images/The Times/Moeletsi Mabe)
  • Cricket SA's interim board chairperson retired Judge Zak Yacoob is confident that the Australian Test tour will take place.
  • The series has been under threat because of the bio-bubble issues from last year's England series and SA's high Covid-19 infection rates.
  • CSA says dates still need to be finalised even though main Test players will return from Pakistan at the end of the Test series.

Cricket South Africa's interim board chairperson retired Judge Zak Yacoob said Australia's Test tour of South Africa will go ahead.

This is despite reports emanating from Australia that the tour could either be shifted Down Under or not take place at all because of South Africa's high Covid-19 infection rates and the bio-bubble controversy of the England limited overs series.

The Sri Lanka Test series - which took place in Johannesburg and Centurion - passed off without any incident while both teams stayed in a bio-secure environment in Irene.

Yacoob said he spoke to his Cricket Australia counterpart Earl Eddings and their discussions with regards to the tour were positive.

"I had a chat with Cricket Australia's chairman about a week ago and we agreed that the tour is going to go ahead. We agreed that we're going to try to ensure that our facilities are as good as possible and as good as necessary," Yacoob said.

"We agreed that we learn every day, but this is not on the basis that we did anything wrong against England because none of the England people were affected. We agreed that the learning with regards to the virus changes every time and as it changes, things must change. We rely on professionals for the correct information and lead us through this process. What we have adopted is that if the experts on both sides agree on the basis that the facilities are fine, we will go on that."

An ongoing concern though is SA's fluctuating Covid-19 infection and death rate. Wednesday saw the Department of Health reporting 12 710 new infections and 566 Covid-19 related deaths.

Yacoob said the changing nature of the virus has made it difficult to plan and predict things.

"We've also agreed that the coronavirus changes so much, it is difficult to predict what will happen. If things certainly go down for the worst to point where we really can't do it and our experts say we really can't do it, then we can't do it. I guess the only thing we can do is to pray," Yacoob said.

While the Australia's tour has been pencilled in for next month to a point where SA's T20's squad for the Pakistan series has been watered down to allow for the main Test players to get back to SA as soon as the red-ball engagement in Pakistan ends, Yacoob was stumped on when the Australian series will take place.

Australia have just completed an epic four-Test series where they lost 2-1 to India after winning the first Test.

CSA's media manager Lucy Davey said they were still in the process of finalising the tour details.

Speculation is rife that the three Tests will be hosted by SuperSport Park and the Wanderers with the players staying in Irene.

"We are finalizing those plans as the judged alluded to with regards to the tour. CSA will provide details once the plans have been fully finalised. Once finalised, a statement will be issued," Davey said.

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