Tuesday, January 25, 2022

India Tour of South Africa: BCCI to request CSA to postpone South Africa tour amid Omicron concern, sets Sunday deadline

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India tour of South Africa: BCCI sets Sunday deadline – In all probability, the already jinxed South Africa tour is all set to be postponed again. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to request the Cricket South Africa to push the series to alleviate players’ concerns over safety due to the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 outbreak. Earlier, the BCCI said it was waiting for Indian government’s green signal for the tour. Follow India vs South Africa series Live Updates on InsideSport.IN.

Earlier, BCCI officials said that the fate of the tour will be depending on the Indian government. Now, they expect a decision by Sunday. As the CSA will incur huge losses if the series is cancelled, the BCCI is trying to continue with the tour but shorten the duration, removing a Test match. In that case, the tour will have two Test matches instead of three. The series is scheduled to start on December 17.

India Tour of South Africa: BCCI to request CSA to postpone South Africa tour amid Omicron concern, sets Sunday deadline

“We might request CSA to postpone the series by a week and will then declare the schedule,” BCCI sources told TOI.

India Tour of South Africa: Pending clearance from the government, BCCI puts selection meeting on hold: Follow LIVE Updates

With the Indian govt postponing international flight resumption, it has made clear that it doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. Hence, the union sports minister has asked the BCCI to take clearance. As the situation is evolving, the BCCI isn’t ruling out pushing the dates by a week.

“It’s an important tour and we will do everything in our power to make it happen. However, we do have to wait for the government’s nod on the same. Things are obviously not looking good in South Africa. We are in constant touch with the CSA. We will see if a change in venue is possible, if not, we will see if we can push the dates by a few days. But at this moment, it is difficult to say anything,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport on Thursday morning.

India Tour of South Africa: BCCI to request CSA to postpone South Africa tour amid Omicron concern, sets Sunday deadline

India vs South Africa 2021: BCCI official gives BIG update on SA tour amid new Covid variant, check out | Cricket News | Zee News

BCCI had earlier put team selection on hold due to lack of clarity from the government. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said that the BCCI will have to take permission from the government on South Africa tour due to virus concerns. While CSA has promised a full-proof bio-security bubble, the government isn’t convinced with the new Covid-19 variant already reached 24 countries.

The full tour, starting with a three-match Test series on December 17 is a replacement of the series last year. The BCCI had to cancel the series last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

India Tour of South Africa: BCCI to request CSA to postpone South Africa tour amid Omicron concern, sets Sunday deadline

“We are discussing to push back the series by a week due to the threat of Omicron COVID variant and we are awaiting the Indian government nod, both boards are in constant touch and everything is being discussed. The health and safety of our players are of utmost importance,” a senior official told ANI.

Earlier, Anurag Thakur, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports had said that BCCI should consult the government before sending the cricket team to South Africa where a new COVID-19 variant has emerged.

“Not only BCCI, but every board should also consult the Indian government before sending the team to a country where a new COVID-19 variant has emerged. It is not right to send the team to a country where there is a threat, if BCCI consults us we will deliberate on that,” Thakur had told ANI in Baghpat.

India Tour of South Africa: BCCI to request CSA to postpone South Africa tour amid Omicron concern, sets Sunday deadline

India A team is currently playing in Bloemfontein South Africa and BCCI expects the tour to go on

India tour of South Africa: The World Health Organisation (WHO) named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. This came after the WHO held a meeting to discuss the newly-identified COVID-19 variant.

Meanwhile, India A players are currently in Bloemfontein for the ongoing series against South Africa A. Neither of the board expects the series to be cancelled as Bloemfontein has remained unscathed for now.

“India A series will go on as scheduled. The situation in Bloemfontein is not of concern. The CSA is taking every precaution on the safety of players. If needed, the players will be moved to a biosecure bubble,” the BCCI official said.

India Tour of South Africa: BCCI to request CSA to postpone South Africa tour amid Omicron concern, sets Sunday deadline

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