Proteas

SA government confident India tour will go ahead: 'We will take all precautions'

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Kyle Verreynne and Zubayr Hamza. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
Kyle Verreynne and Zubayr Hamza. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
  • The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has come out to bat for Cricket South Africa in saving the forthcoming tour by India.
  • The tour looked to be at risk after the Netherlands withdrew from their ODI series against South Africa after the discovery of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
  • India 'A' has remained in South Africa while the main side is set to arrive on 9 December.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has come to bat for Cricket South Africa, saying they'll pull out all the stops to ensure next month's all-format tour takes place.

The Omicron Covid-19 variant has threatened to derail CSA's summer, with the Netherlands postponing their ODI tour of South Africa after last week's discovery of the variant by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.

India's main side is currently engaged in a two-Test series against New Zealand, with the second Test starting on 3 December in Mumbai, while the aim is for Virat Kohli's side to arrive in South Africa on 9 December.

The first of the three Tests will start at the Wanderers on 17 December, with the Boxing Day Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion, followed by the third one at Newlands in the New Year.

In the statement, the department said all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the series proceeds smoothly.

"South Africa will take all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Indian teams. A full Bio-secure environment will be established around both the South African and Indian A Teams as well as the two National Teams," the statement said.

The department was grateful at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for showing solidarity with South Africa in what is the 30th anniversary of South Africa's whistle-stop tour of India that heralded their return into international cricket after a 21-year absence.

India 'A' remained in South Africa and they're currently engaged with their South African counterparts in a four-day game at the Mangaung Oval.

"India's decision to show solidarity by choosing to continue with the tour of the Indian A-Team stands in contrast with several countries who have decided to close their borders and to restrict travel from Southern African after South Africa announced the detection of the new Omicron variant," the statement said.

"The South African government has expressed its appreciation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for allowing the tour to continue and for not letting travel restrictions negatively impact on international sports."

Full statement:

The South African Government wishes to welcome the Indian ‘A’ Cricket Team that is currently in South Africa to play three unofficial test matches against the South African ‘A’ Team.

The Indian ‘A’ Team is based in Bloemfontein and will start the second match of the tour on 29 November 2021. The last match will commence on 6 December 2021.

The Indian National Cricket Team is also scheduled to visit South Africa and will play three games during their tour. The first will be played at the Wanderers and will start on 17 December, to be followed by the second match at Supersport Park on 26 December 2021 and the third match at Newlands on 3 January 2022.

While in South Africa the team will also play three One Day International games (ODIs) and four T20 matches, which will all be played at Newlands and Paarl.

South Africa will take all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Indian teams. ‘A’ full Bio-secure environment will be established around both the South African and Indian ‘A’ Teams as well as the two National Teams.

The tour of the Indian National Team marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s readmission to international cricket.

In 1991, India became the first country to host a South African Cricket Team after South Africa was banned from international cricket in 1970 by the International Cricket Council (ICC), following a resolution taken against the then South African government’s apartheid policy.

The anniversary will be celebrated by a commemorative event that will take place on 2 January 2022 in Cape Town. This event will also serve to highlight the strong ties between South Africa and India, which is once again demonstrated by the tour of the two Indian teams.

India’s decision to show solidarity by choosing to continue with the tour of the Indian ‘A’ Team stands in contrast with a number of countries who have decided to close their borders and to restrict travel from Southern African after South Africa announced the detection of the new Omicron variant.

The South African Government has expressed its appreciation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for allowing the tour to continue and for not letting travel restrictions negatively impact on international sports.

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