Aus tour of SA postponed – Graeme Smith extrmely disappointed with Cricket Australia: Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said that they were “extremely disappointed” with the Cricket Australia’s decision to postpone the upcoming Test series with the Proteas due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Proteas skipper Smith said the CSA was working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that they meet every single expectation of the CA. “We are extremely disappointed by the decision of CA. CSA has been working tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure that we meet every single expectation of CA,” said Smith in CSA release.
“This was set to be the longest tour in a BSE comprising a three-match Test series that was scheduled to begin with Australia’s arrival later in the month. So to be informed about the CA decision at the eleventh hour is frustrating,” he added.
Australia’s three-match Test tour of South Africa has been postponed due to an ‘unacceptable’ coronavirus risk, Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed on Tuesday.
The Tim Paine-led Australia squad was scheduled to tour South Africa later this month. CA’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley said traveling from Australia to South Africa at this current time will have an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to the visiting players.
“Following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that traveling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff, and the community,” Hockley said in a statement.
“We acknowledge the significant amount of work by CSA in planning for the tour, during which we made it clear that CA was prepared to take on additional cost and effort to make the series happen,” he added.
“CSA is particularly disappointed given that South Africa recently hosted Sri Lanka in a bio-secure environment (BSE) at Centurion, with no breaches of protocol. Currently, the Pakistan Women’s team are touring the country in a secure BSE in Durban,” a statement from CSA read.
“CSA is particularly disappointed given that South Africa recently hosted Sri Lanka in a bio-secure environment (BSE) at Centurion, with no breaches of protocol. Currently, the Pakistan Women’s team are touring the country in a secure BSE in Durban,” it added.
CSA’s Chief Medical Officer, Shuaib Manjra, added that there was not much more CSA could have done to appease CA and prepare more appropriately.
“The protocols we had proposed to CA were unprecedented,” he stated. “Firstly, we had agreed that our own Proteas team would enter the BSE 14 days prior to the arrival of the Australian team, thus altering their planning during the current tour of Pakistan.
“Amongst some of the other key arrangements made were that all four areas (two hotels and two venues) had a protocol to implement a strict BSE with no contact with anybody outside this area.
“We subsequently agreed to two separate BSEs and had granted Australia full and exclusive use of the Irene Country Lodge, which we shared with Sri Lanka, with a minimum staff present on site.
“In addition, CSA had also committed to importing an Australian tracking system at great cost to ensure proper tracking of close contacts in the event of a positive test. The touring team was also going to be granted VIP access through the airports, after government intervention to ensure this privilege,” he added.