CSA issues updates on Netherlands’ tour of South Africa amid COVID scare

South Africa and the Netherlands are currently taking part in a three-match ODI series being hosted by the Proteas, While the first ODI came to a premature end due to a second innings washout on Friday, the next ODIs are scheduled to take place on November 27 and December 1. However, the chances are bleak for the rest of the Netherlands' tour to continue after a new variant of COVID found in South Africa has raised panic alarms among the visitors.

A constant piece of news is doing the rounds stating the culmination of the Netherlands' tour of South Africa 2021. However, Cricket South Africa has officially issued a statement, brushing aside all the air around the matter. As per the South African cricket board, the final decision on the continuation of the tour will be taken in the next 24-48 hours.

Decision on the tour to be taken in next 24-48 hours: Cricket South Africa

The host nation has confirmed that both the cricketing boards are looking to prioritize the physical and the mental well-being of players involved in the series. Cricket Netherlands (KNCB) is considering all options to support its players. However, despite the rising concerns, it is unlikely that the Netherlands will be able to fly out of the country over this weekend.

If the ongoing series is canceled or postponed, it will be the second time when an international series will be affected due to COVID-19 in South Africa in the past 12 months. Even in December 2020, the England cricket team canceled the ODI series and returned home without playing any of the scheduled games due to the COVID outbreak around the same time. It was an unavoidable circumstance as both the boards mutually agreed to postpone the one-day internationals.

 

Team India to arrive in South Africa next month

The Virat Kohli-led Team India is slated to feature in all-format series against South Africa starting December 17. With reports of a new COVID variant – B.1.1.529, surfacing across all regions, the India tour of South Africa 2021 could also be in jeopardy if the situation doesn't offer to improve in the next few days. The ‘Men in Blue' are likely to leave India straight after the second Test against New Zealand in Mumbai.

“Look, till we get a detailed picture of the ground situation from Cricket South Africa (CSA), we will not be able to tell our next step. As per the current plan, the Indian team is supposed to leave either on December 8 or 9 just after the New Zealand series gets over in Mumbai.

“Initially, there was no provision for hard quarantine but obviously the players will remain in a bio-bubble. Now with cases rising in South Africa and the European Union also canceling flights temporarily, we need to factor in these aspects,” a senior BCCI official said as quoted by TOI.

India will feature in a three-match Test series followed by three ODIs and four T20Is.

Kartik Bansal

An avid Cricket Follower