CSA approaches ICC, lodges complaint against CA for postponing tour

Cricket South Africa approaches ICC's dispute-resolution council to look into Australia's indefinite postponement of its Test tour.

Australia's last tour of South Africa for a Test series was in March, 2018. - GETTY IMAGES

Cricket South Africa has lodged an official complaint with the ICC against Cricket Australia for its indefinite postponement of Australia’s Test tour of South Africa.

CA cited “unacceptable health and safety risk” as its reason for pulling out of the tour, referring to concerns over a fresh COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa. The postponement virtually knocked it out of contention for the World Test Championship final later this year.

CSA had slammed its Australian counterpart for this decision, saying it was “extremely” disappointing and that it will lead to “serious financial loss.” It has now approached the ICC’s dispute-resolution council on this matter.

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, CSA acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki has shot off a letter to the ICC, asking it “to look into whether CA’s cancellation amounts to acceptable or unacceptable non-compliance as per the WTC terms, bearing in mind that the series cannot be rescheduled before the end of the WTC window, which is April 30, 2021.” CSA also wants the game’s governing body to check the health situation in South Africa to decide if Australia violated the FTP terms by postponing the tour.

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As per ICC’s FTP terms and conditions, member nations have an obligation to fulfil their commitments barring special circumstances, including government instruction. Citing a clause from WTC terms, Moseki wrote that it was for the independent experts from South Africa to decide the severity of health risks that forced Australia to postpone its tour.

“It would seem inappropriate to appoint a health and safety consultant outside of South Africa given that such an expert consultant would be unlikely to properly and accurately comprehend the COVID-19 related risks within South Africa and how they may be adequately managed,” Moseki wrote.

“Given the nature of the pandemic, it will inevitably require location-specific advice.”

It is not the first time that a cricket playing nation has cancelled a tour. In 2007 Australia decided against touring Zimbabwe on the advice of its government on political grounds and then in 2008 India didn’t tour Pakistan due to tension between the two nations.