Cricket Australia committed to South Africa tour, for now

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Australia’s tour to South Africa next year is still set to be completed, even after England’s one-day international series in the country was called off on Monday.

England are due to fly home from South Africa this week after the tour was called off after a spate of positive coronavirus cases, including two in the touring party, which has resulted in the African country’s biosecurity measures being placed under the microscope.

“The tour of South Africa is part of the World Test Championship and the Futures Tour Program,” a Cricket Australia spokesman said.

“We will continue to plan for the tour and monitor the biosecurity situation.”

England’s decision followed a day of fraught meetings between players and management, and preceded a joint statement from Cricket South Africa and the England and Wales Cricket Board claiming the move was mutual and taken “to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams”.

Australia’s matches against South Africa are often heated affairs and the upcoming series is one of the most anticipated of 2021, and takes places in the aftermath of the last tour, which culminated in the ball-tampering scandal which rocked Australian cricket.

Coronavirus still wreaking havoc 

Whilst the tour is still three months away, the cancelled South Africa-England series shows that international cricket is still at the mercy of the coronavirus pandemic.

India’s tour to Australia has so far been smooth, but Pakistan had had six positive tests in their playing party while in quarantine in New Zealand. 

Meanwhile, Australia batsman Matthew Wade said he had not given the tour to South Africa much thought. 

“And I’m not sure any of the other players have thought about it,” Wade said.  

“I saw the match was postponed, that’s about as far as I’ve gone into it. 

“I’m sure Cricket Australia and South Africa’s board will work together and get the right solution. But as players, we’ll just crack into this series and when that rolls around we’ll see where it lands. But it’s a long way for us.” 

 

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