Cricket South Africa has postponed the latest round of matches in division two of the four-day provincial competition after a number of COVID-19 cases, the move coming just two weeks before the start of a three-test series with India.
The provincial sides involved have not been staying in bio-secure environments ahead of the three matches that were scheduled to start on Thursday.
Sport in South Africa began to shut down last week following the emergence of the Omicron new coronavirus variant, with travel bans and restrictions on flights leaving rugby teams and golfers scrambling to leave the country.
“In the last couple of days, some positive COVID-19 test results have emerged following team pre-arrival testing sessions,” CSA said in a statement.
“Activating the precautionary and preventative measures stipulated in the organisation’s COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all involved is a top priority for CSA.”
None of the teams feature players expected to be selected for the test series against India, which is due to start in Johannesburg on December 17 but will spark alarm as COVID-19 cases continue to rise sharply in the country.
India is scheduled to board their charter flight for South Africa soon after the second test against New Zealand ends on December 7, though reports in the country have stated the Board of Control for Cricket in India will make a decision on whether to postpone the tour by Sunday.
CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, told reporters that no discussions on a postponement had yet taken place.