Cricket South Africa is confident that India’s short tour of the three T20 Internationals will take place later in 2020. The tour, planned for late August, will kick-start the economic recovery of both governing bodies, but the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus means nothing is cast in stone.
South Africa travelled to India in March, but the entire series was cancelled without a ball being bowled.
The first match was abandoned due to rain, and the team then returned home due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. With all cricket suspended at the moment, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is now willing to send the team to South Africa for a tour of three T20 Internationals.
It’s planned for late August, but with the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating, anything is possible. But CSA believes cricket is a socially-distanced sport that can be played behind closed doors.
Acting CSA CEO Jacques Faul says they have been working hard behind the scenes.
“A lot of hard work that’s been done behind the scenes. We are engaging via SASCOC with the minister, we are in the process of seeking an audience with the minister to get permission if needed to play behind closed doors and this relates to the India incoming tour.”
South Africa also remains committed the honour the Tour of the West Indies that was scheduled to start in mid-July. Due to COVID-19, Director of CSA Greame Smith says, other options are being looked at.
“We have engaged with the Indian cricket board and the BCCI and the West Indies cricket board and also the ECB about best practices. We are working with the west indies cricket board to see even if we can play at a neutral venue after their tour of England.”
CSA is in also sharing knowledge with the England and Wales Cricket Board about alternative ways of re-starting cricket programmes while mitigating the risk of the virus.
“Post COVID(19), to have strong leadership is going to be important. I feel that Saurav Ganguly is best positioned for that at the moment. He’s got the credibility, he’s got the leadership skills & he’s someone who can really take the game forward.” – Graeme Smith pic.twitter.com/XpXvbpuMG5
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 21, 2020