India's Tour Of South Africa: BCCI To Await Centre's Decision Over New COVID Variant, Say Sources
The new coronavirus variant has cast a shadow over the Indian cricket team's upcoming tour of South Africa, scheduled to begin from December 17.
- A new COVID variant has emerged in South Africa
- It has cast a shadow over India's tour to the country
- India are scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is there
The new coronavirus variant has cast a shadow over the Indian cricket team's upcoming tour of South Africa, which is scheduled to begin from December 17. An India A team is already in South Africa, where it is scheduled to play three unofficial Test matches, the first of which is currently underway. Sources in the BCCI have told NDTV that the Indian cricket board is awaiting the government's decision before taking a call on whether to go ahead with the tour. The sources further informed that senior players are expected to travel to South Africa on December 8, after the completion of the second Test against New Zealand.
NDTV has also learnt from its sources that the BCCI currently plans to retain a few players from the ongoing India A tour.
A new coronavirus variant - B.1.1.529 - has been red-flagged by scientists over an alarmingly high number of spike mutations that might make the virus more resistant to vaccines, increase transmissibility and lead to more severe symptoms.
First identified in South Africa this week, the variant has spread to nearby countries, including Botswana, where fully vaccinated people have been infected. In South Africa, over 100 cases have been linked to this variant, with four more in Botswana.
India are scheduled to play three Test matches, three ODIs and four T20Is as part of the bilateral series in South Africa.
The series will begin with the first Test in Johannesburg from December 17, followed by the Boxing Day Test in Centurion and the final Test in Cape Town from January 3.
The first ODI will be played in Paarl on January, followed by two more ODIs in Cape Town (January 14 and 16.
Cape Town will also host the opening two T20Is (on January 19 and 21). The series will then conclude in Paarl with the final two T20Is on January 23 and 26.