BCCI Wants South Africa Tour Delayed, Decision By Sunday Likely: Sources
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has set a deadline of Sunday to decide on the fate of the Indian men's cricket team's upcoming tour of South Africa, sources have informed NDTV.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has set a deadline of Sunday to decide on the fate of the Indian men's cricket team's upcoming tour of South Africa, sources have informed NDTV. The future of the tour, which begins with the first Test match in Johannesburg from December 17, has been under question ever since the spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. It has been learnt that the board has asked for some time from Cricket South Africa (CSA) to discuss the matter internally. Sources have informed NDTV that under the current circumstances, BCCI could ask CSA to delay the series. India are scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is as part of the tour.
The 10-match tour is worth around R 700 million (South African Rand), roughly 330 Cr INR.
The heavily-mutated Omicron variant of the coronavirus was last month identified in South Africa, where cases reportedly doubled within 24 hours on Wednesday.
The Omicron variant has reached as many as 24 countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Many countries have responded to the situation by issuing travel curbs on visitors from southern African countries, a move that has been criticised by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa as "unjustified and unfairly discriminate".
The India "A" team is currently playing three unofficial Tests in South Africa and is slated to stay in the country till December 6.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), which is South Africa's foreign ministry, praised India for continuing with the tour.
"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...," it said in a statement.
On the other hand, CSA chairman Lawson Naidoo had told NDTV on Wednesday about the safety measures in place for the upcoming tour, saying Team India would be staying in two hotels during the trip.
"The tour schedule has been planned on the basis that the first two Test matches will be played in Johannesburg and Centurion (with players staying at the same hotels for these games). The third Test and all white ball games will be played in Cape Town and Paarl (with players once again staying at the same hotels for both sets of games). This planning has been done on the basis that the BSE 'bubble' will only be moved once, from Gauteng to Cape Town," Naidoo said.