'What a joke!' - cricket pundits slam Australia's decision to ditch SA tour

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Tim Paine (Getty)
Tim Paine (Getty)

Cricket Australia's decision to postpone their Test tour to South Africa was not well received by Proteas fans.

The Baggy Greens were scheduled to play a three-Test series in South Africa later this month but CA's interim chief executive Nick Hockley said on Tuesday that travelling to the country posed "unacceptable" risk to the touring party.

Cricket South Africa's director of cricket Graeme Smith said his organisation was "extremely disappointed by the decision of CA".

"CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA.

"This was set to be the longest tour in a bio-secure environment comprising a three-match Test series that was scheduled to begin with Australia's arrival later in the month. So to be informed about the CA decision at the eleventh hour is frustrating," Smith said.

Social media was abuzz after the sudden cancellation of the tour, with many hinting that the sport's so-called big three - India, England and Australia - were doing as they please.

"You think the Aussies would have postponed a tour to India? Or what about a precious Ashes tour to UK. No chance!! I Feel for the players, what a joke!!!," former Proteas spinner Paul Harris tweeted.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan added: " The Aussies pulling out of the tour of SA is a huge worry for the game ... Would they have pulled out of a tour to India is the question ?? !!  It’s so important in these times that the big 3 do everything they can to help out those without the financial clout … #JustSaying."

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen also chipped in: "No way @CricketAus
 would have not played India in a Test tour.

"It's a really dark time in the world of cricket with CA cancelling their tour of @OfficialCSA

@englandcricket also pulled out of SA due to Covid issues, but players test positive in SL and tour goes on?!"

Other commentators also aired their views on Twitter:

CA, however, on Wednesday denied it was only interested in lucrative series against India and England.

Hockley described the pull-out as "heartbreaking", insisting the Covid-19 situation in South Africa gave the Australians no choice.

"We share their disappointment, we've all worked to make this tour happen," he told reporters.

"At the end of the day, the weight of medical advice and our duty of care to players and staff meant we were really left with no alternative."

- Compiled by Herman Mostert

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