The upcoming India’s tour of South Africa has been rescheduled after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) came to an agreement.
As per the agreement, first Test will start on December 26 instead of December and 17 and the Indian team’s departure, which was scheduled for December 8, has been now delayed by a week.
India will play three Tests and three ODIs on their tour of South Africa as scheduled earlier however the T20I series has now been postponed to a later date.
Although the venues for the series have also not been finalised yet however, reports suggest that that the first Test, starting on Boxing Day, might be shifted out of Durban, which has traditionally hosted the Boxing Day Test, to Centurion.
Earlier Jay Shah confirmed the development. Speaking to news agency ANI in Kolkata, where the is BCCI holding its AGM, he said, “BCCI has confirmed CSA that the Indian team will travel for three Tests and three ODIs. The remaining four T20Is will be played at a later date.”
Notably, the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 in the African nation has raised doubts over the upcoming tour however, the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation of South Africa had given full assurance to the Indian government and the BCCI regarding the safety of Indian players.
The Ministry had said that the touring side would be provided the best “bio-secure environment” to ensure the safety of players from the fast-spreading Omicron variant of Covid-19
Significantly, the Omicron variant, which was reportedly first detected in South Africa, has spread to many parts of the world with several nations now suspending flights to and from the country.
The statement further promised of the best “bio-secure environment” to all the teams.
“South Africa will take all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Indian teams. ‘A’ full Bio-secure environment will be established around both the South African and Indian ‘A’ Teams as well as the two National Teams,” it had said.
Later, BCCI Chief Sourav Ganguly has said that the tour remains on schedule and they were keeping a close watch on the situation.
“The tour is on as things stand till now. We still have time to decide. The first Test is scheduled from December 17. We will ponder about it,” Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event.
“Players’ security and health has always been BCCI’s first priority, we will do everything possible for this. We will see what happens in the days to come,” he had added.