CSA, ECB agree to postpone ODI series after COVID-19 threat

CSA and the ECB will now work together to determine when the three-match series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men’s Super League, can take place in the future.

One South Africa player and two hotel staff tested positive for COVID-19 from within the bio-secure hotel.   -  REUTERS

Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed to postpone the remaining matches in the current Betway One-Day International (ODI) Series, the host confirmed in a statement.

The decision was taken jointly by the two Boards to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams.

CSA and the ECB will now work together to determine when the three-match series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men’s Super League, can take place in the future.

The white-ball leg started with the three T20Is as scheduled but the ODI series couldn’t start last week as per plan. There were three delays inside four days due to COVID-19 positive cases in both squads and within the bio-secure hotel in Cape Town.

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On December 7, the second ODI was supposed to start at 10 am but the teams had not reached the ground by 9 am.

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CSA and the ECB had informed about a delayed start but the decision to abandon the tour was conveyed just less than half-an-hour before the first ball.

CSA Acting CEO, Kugandrie Govender said: “The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us. 

“I would like to thank the ECB for the continued positive relations, and we look forward to hosting the England team in the near future.”

Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount. We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this Series, in best interest of the players’ welfare.

“I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding on this matter and look forward to working with them to identify a time when we can return to play these fixtures in the future.”

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