Sunday, 07 March, 2021


Australia's Test tour of South Africa POSTPONED due to 'public health situation'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Noah Ferguson | 02 February, 2021, 20:15

Australia were due to play three Test matches in South Africa in February and March.

India, now favourites to qualify to the ICC WTC final, will have to win by at least 2-1 in a bid to feature in the summit clash.

South Africa has recorded a total 1 456 309 COVID-19 cases, with 2 548 new cases identified on Monday evening, and 235 deaths bringing total deaths to 44,399.

As a result, New Zealand have officially become the first team to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final, which is set to take place at the Lord's Cricket Ground in June.

Australia's decision to opt against a tour was confirmed on Tuesday evening, with Interim CA boss Nick Hockley saying that health experts had warned players could be exposed to "unacceptable" health and safety risks.

CA said, "Cricket Australia has today informed Cricket South Africa that it believes it has no choice but to postpone the forthcoming Qantas Tour of South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic".

As of now, India has highest percentage points 71.7 while New Zealand has 70 while Australia are third at 69.2 and England are currently placed fourth with 65.2 points.

Australia had toured England in August-September past year for a set of ODIs and T20Is, when the Covid-19 numbers in England were low, before some of their players went to the UAE to take part in the IPL.

Hocley expressed his disappointment at the postponement of this series given the assurance they had given to Cricket South Africa (CSA) to tour the country even at an extra cost.

"We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA", Smith said in a statement.

"As hard and disappointing a decision as this is, especially for Justin [Langer, the Australia head coach], Tim [Paine, their captain] and the team, we have a duty of care to our people and their health and safety can't be compromised".

With Australia's Test series postponed indefinitely, no team can surpass New Zealand's percentage points of 70 and for all practical purposes, the series between India and England starting in Chennai on Friday will decide the opponents for Kane Williamson's men.

Australia were due to play three Tests in South Africa.

South Africa recently hosted Sri Lanka for two tests.

"The ACA offers its assistance to CA in exploring new options with Cricket South Africa for this series to be rescheduled".

South Africa also had to deal with a cancellation in early December when England withdrew from the ODI portion of its tour after a virus outbreak at the supposedly bio-secure Cape Town hotel where both teams were staying.

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