The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday confirmed that the upcoming India tour of South Africa will begin from December 26 while the T20Is have been postponed to a later date.
The issue of the tour of South Africa was one of the several decisions taken by the BCCI in its 90th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Kolkata.
“Indi’s tour of South Africa, 2021-22, will proceed with the revised dates and itinerary. The team will participate in a three-match Test series followed by a three-match ODI series starting December 26th, 2021,” read the BCCI’s statement in decisions made at the AGM.
Earlier in the day, it was reported that the South Africa has been delayed by a week after an agreement between the BCCI and Cricket South Africa (CSA) due to the sudden spread of new Covid-19 variant – Omnicron – in the host country.
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.
Notably, the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 in the African nation had 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 other big decisions taken by the board in the AGM were the re-induction of Brijesh Patel and M Khairul Jamal Majumdar as representatives in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council while including former India spinner Pragyan Ojha as the representative of the Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) in it.
The BCCI also announced the decision to form the Tours, Fixtures and Technical Committee, Umpires Committee and Differently Abled Cricket Committee and also announced to increase the Age Limit of match officials and support staff to 65 from 60 years, which will be subject to their fitness.
The board further announced to initiate infrastructure development of the North-Eastern States, Puducherry, Bihar and Uttarakhand.
The BCCI AGM meanwhile, also approved five-day Tests for the women’s team, who have largely played in four-day encounters lately.