- On Sunday BCCI will decide upcoming tour to South Africa of the Indian men's cricket team.
- South Africa has been identified as ‘at-risk’ country after the Omicron Covid variant.
- India is scheduled to play 10-match.
New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has set a deadline of Sunday to decide on the fate of the Indian men’s cricket team’s upcoming tour of South Africa. The future of the tour, which begins with the first Test match in Johannesburg on December 17th, has been under question ever since the spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. It has been learnt that the board has asked for some time from Cricket South Africa (CSA) to discuss the matter internally. Sources have informed that under the current circumstances, BCCI could ask CSA to delay the series.
India is scheduled to play 3 Tests, 3 ODIs and 4 T20Is as part of the tour. The 10-match tour is worth around R 700 million (South African Rand), roughly 330 Cr INR. The heavily-mutated Omicron variant of the coronavirus was last month identified in South Africa, where cases reportedly doubled within 24 hours on Wednesday. Many countries have responded to the situation by issuing travel curbs on visitors from southern African countries.
The India “A” team is currently playing 3 unofficial Tests in South Africa and is slated to stay in the country till December 6th. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), which is South Africa’s foreign ministry, praised India for continuing with the tour. “India’s decision to show solidarity by choosing to continue with the tour of the Indian ”A” Team stands in contrast with a number of countries who have decided to close their borders and to restrict travel from Southern African,” it said in a statement. On the other hand, CSA chairman Lawson Naidoo had told on Wednesday about the safety measures in place for the upcoming tour, saying Team India would be staying in two hotels during the trip. The planning has been done on the basis that the BSE ‘bubble’ will only be moved once, from Gauteng to Cape Town,” Naidoo said.